As an added reason to give thanks this year, American consumers can appreciate a slight cost increase to the price tag of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, which still averages below $50.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey, the average total cost of a Thanksgiving meal prepared for 10 this year is $49.41, a 37-cent increase from 2013’s average. The federation said the average cost of the dinner has hovered around $49 since 2011.
Turkey was the big-ticket item, with a 16-pound bird costing $21.65. However, this represents a decrease of about 11 cents per whole turkey when compared with last year’s costs. Sweet potatoes, dairy products and pumpkin pie mix showed the highest increase in price this year. Other items like carrots, celery and peas showed slight increases, while stuffing, cranberries and rolls declined in price.
“Turkey production has been somewhat lower this year and wholesale prices are a little higher, but consumers should find an adequate supply of birds at their local grocery store,” said John Anderson, AFBF deputy chief economist. “Some grocers may use turkeys as ‘loss leaders,’ a common strategy deployed to entice shoppers to come through the doors and buy other popular Thanksgiving foods.”
The Federation’s shopping list included a turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.