Although the turkey is usually the star of Thanksgiving dinners, the prices this year seem to be on the rise even though the bird isn’t one that soars. Along with turkey, many of the other common items to complete a Thanksgiving dinner have increased in price as well, such as stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, and pies.
As with other foods, clothing, and products that people use on a daily basis, Thanksgiving dinner might be a bit smaller due to inflation that’s seen across the globe because of the increase in the demand for goods and the lack of workers who are able to fill the positions needed to get cargo off ships and delivered to stores.
A study conducted by the American Farm Bureau found that a Thanksgiving dinner for about 10 people that includes the basics like a pie, rolls, and sweet potatoes could be around $53.31 depending on the brands that are purchased. This amount is an increase of about 14% just in the course of a year. Since 2015, the price of items that are typically used to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner has been decreasing.
Jay Jandrain, President of Butterball and the CEO, sees that the inflation taking place across the country is a real thing and that it’s impacting the lives of almost everyone. “Whether it’s labor, transportation, packaging materials, energy to fuel the plants – everything costs more.”
Butterball is based in North Carolina but provides turkeys for about one-third of the country for Thanksgiving. There has been a lack of workers since the first of the year for the company, which has led to several delays with processing and shipping. Since there has been a delay in processing the turkeys needed by Butterball and other companies, the birds continued to eat, resulting in them getting bigger than they normally would. Corn and other types of feed have already increased in price and combined with the larger size of the turkeys, it’s resulted in the overall price of them increasing from last year.
There have been more people who have been hired to work in the facilities to process the turkeys and to prepare them to ship as well as an increase in the number of trucks to transport the turkeys across the country. There will likely be plenty of turkeys, but the price is going to cut into the wallets of many families since they are priced based on how much they weigh and there aren’t as many small birds available.
“The good news about that is everybody loves the after-Thanksgiving leftovers, and they are going to have more of them this year,” Jandrain said. When looking at the estimated price per pound of turkeys, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that most that are between 8 and 16 pounds average $1.35 a pound. This number is an increase of 21% in just a year. The weather has impacted several other items that are seen on the Thanksgiving table as heavy rains have decreased the number of pumpkins with the fresh Thanksgiving staple averaging about $2.72 a pound in early November.
Many people are using apps like Ibotta to save money on their Thanksgiving meal, such as Ryanne Bowyer in Texas. After signing up and scanning her receipts, she was able to get most of the items needed for her meal for free at Walmart. With the increase in prices and the shortage of goods, stores that typically offer special deals for the holiday are rolling back and only offering discounts on individual items.
Diana Jepsen is another person who has been trying to save money while buying her Thanksgiving components. She’s seen prices increase for her typical turkey by about $.50 a pound from $1 to $1.50. In order to feed her family of 21, she purchased a 23-pound turkey and believes that the price was good and purchased other staples that were on sale to compensate for the price increase.