October 1, 2023


Elegant Food

Thanksgiving dinner value jumps again up

10 min read

Amid elevated meals worth inflation, the price of a standard Thanksgiving dinner shot up in 2021 following a large drop final 12 months as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) thirty sixth annual survey reckoned the common value of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 folks at $53.31, up $6.41 from $46.90 in 2020. The 14% uptick got here after a $2.01 lower final 12 months — to the bottom price ticket for a Thanksgiving dinner since 2010 — and a one cent enhance to $48.91 in 2019, earlier than the pandemic.

“A number of components contributed to the rise in common value of this 12 months’s Thanksgiving dinner,” Veronica Nigh, senior economist on the Washington, D.C.-based American Farm Bureau Federation, mentioned in an announcement. “These embody dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economic system and provide chains over the past 20 months, inflationary stress all through the economic system, problem in predicting demand in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and excessive international demand for meals, significantly meat.”

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A part of the upper Thanksgiving dinner value — rising from lower than to over $5 per individual — displays a dearer turkey. This 12 months, AFBF’s survey pegged the common value of a 16-pound chook at $23.99, or about $1.50 per pound, up 24% from $19.39 ($1.21 per pound) in 2020 and $20.80 ($1.30 per pound) in 2019.

AFBF famous that timing impacted its turkey value estimate this 12 months. The bureau’s volunteer consumers checked costs Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, about two weeks earlier than most grocery retailers started merchandising complete frozen turkeys at a lot decrease costs. Though the survey timeline remained constant in 2021, AFBF mentioned USDA Agricultural Advertising Service knowledge present grocery shops beginning to promote decrease function costs for turkey later than typical this 12 months. Additionally, the common per-pound function worth for complete frozen turkeys got here in at $1.07 the week of Nov. 5 to 11 and 88 cents the week of Nov. 12 to 18, an 18% lower in a single week.

Consequently, shoppers who haven’t but bought a turkey ought to be capable of discover one at a decrease value than the survey common, AFBF reported. However the greenback ring for the remainder of the Thanksgiving purchasing basket nonetheless is available in greater than a 12 months in the past.

“Taking turkey out of the basket of meals reveals a 6.6% worth enhance in comparison with final 12 months, which tracks carefully with the Client Value Index for meals and normal inflation throughout the economic system,” in keeping with Nigh.

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AFBF’s purchasing record for the 2021 Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey included turkey, stuffing, candy potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a vegetable tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and low and milk, all in portions to serve a household of 10, with ample leftovers. The nationwide common value was calculated via 218 surveys utilizing pricing knowledge from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Volunteer consumers checked costs in individual and on-line utilizing grocery retailer apps and web sites and looked for the absolute best costs with out utilizing particular promotional coupons or buy offers.

Of the 12 gadgets on AFBF’s classic Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, together with the turkey, 11 had common worth hikes versus a 12 months in the past.

Excluding the chook, these gadgets included two pie shells (+49 cents to $2.91), 12 dinner rolls (+39 cents to $3.05), miscellaneous components to arrange the meal (+36 cents to $3.45), 12 oz. of contemporary cranberries (+29 cents to $2.98), 30-oz. pumpkin pie combine (+25 cents to $3.64), one gallon of complete milk (+22 cents to $3.30), three kilos of candy potatoes (+12 cents to $3.56), a one-pound veggie tray of carrots and celery (+9 cents to 82 cents per pound), a pound of inexperienced peas (+8 cents to $1.54) and a half-pint of whipping cream (+4 cents to $1.78).

Stuffing was the one merchandise within the 2021 survey exhibiting a worth lower, with a 14-oz. bundle of cubed stuffing combine down 52 cents to $2.29.

Objects exhibiting double-digit worth will increase included pie crusts (+20%), dinner rolls (+15%), contemporary cranberries (+11%), the veggie tray (+12%) and miscellaneous components (+12%), whereas the stuffing combine had a 19% lower.

AFBF’s survey additionally included an expanded vacation menu with ham, russet potatoes and frozen inexperienced beans. Including these gadgets to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner raised the full common value by $15.41 to $68.72 this 12 months, marking a 14% general worth enhance from $60.11 in 2020, when the value tag for the larger menu declined almost 4% from $62.32 in 2019.

All the meals within the expanded Thanksgiving menu noticed worth hikes this 12 months, with 4 kilos of ham up $1.71 to $10.87, 5 kilos of russet potatoes up 41 cents to $2.96 and a pound of frozen inexperienced beans up 8 cents to $1.58.

“The development of shoppers cooking and consuming at house extra typically as a result of pandemic led to elevated grocery store demand and better retail meals costs in 2020 and 2021, in comparison with pre-pandemic costs in 2019,” Nigh added.

Retailers serve up Thanksgiving financial savings

With shoppers well-aware of the upward development in meals pricing, retailers have pitched in to rein in Thanksgiving dinner prices.

For the second straight 12 months, Aldi mentioned a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for 10 folks prices a mean of lower than $30 at its shops and on-line (through Instacart), in contrast with $32.02 for the pre-pandemic vacation in 2019. Aldi’s meal features a 12-pound Butterball turkey, bagged stuffing, candy potatoes, Hawaiian candy rolls, frozen peas, contemporary cranberries, carrots, celery, canned pumpkin pie combine, pie crust, whipping cream and a gallon of complete milk.


Aldi has provided a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 at lower than $30 for a second straight 12 months.

In accordance with a Morning Seek the advice of survey of two,200 U.S. shoppers, commissioned by Aldi, nearly 90% of hosts count on to spend $50 or extra on a Thanksgiving meal for as much as 10 company. Aldi mentioned consumers can spend at the least 40% much less by buying gadgets for the vacation meal via the Batavia, Ailing.-based low cost grocer, at a price of lower than $3 per individual — leaving more cash for different potential gadgets resembling appetizers, alcoholic drinks and further desserts.

“Quickly we’ll be reconnecting with household and buddies across the Thanksgiving desk,” said Dave Rinaldo, co-president of Aldi U.S. “I’m extremely proud that for lower than $30, Aldi consumers can put together a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal, together with the turkey, candy potatoes, pumpkin pie and extra. With that form of financial savings, you might have room for an additional chair or two across the desk this 12 months.”

Rival deep low cost grocer Lidl is providing a standard Thanksgiving dinner for lower than $30 as effectively. The purchasing basket, additionally based mostly on the AFBF survey and serving 10 folks, features a 13-pound turkey, bagged stuffing, candy potatoes, inexperienced beans, carrots, celery, Hawaiian candy rolls, contemporary cranberries, pumpkin pie combine, pie shells, whipping cream and one gallon of complete milk, for a complete value of lower than $3 an individual.

“As the costs for meals rise throughout the nation, Lidl is constant to present consumers the flexibility to place extra on the desk this vacation season,” commented Stefan Schwarz, chief product officer for Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US . “For lower than $30, consumers at Lidl can present household and buddies a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with all of the fixings. We’re proud to be a part of this vacation custom.”

Supercenter retailer Meijer famous that it’s offering added worth this Thanksgiving vacation by providing a variety of well-stocked turkeys, addressing prospects’ rising issues about provide and worth. By means of Nov. 27, consumers should purchase Meijer-brand frozen turkeys for 33 cents per pound.

As well as, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer mentioned it’s carrying a wide selection of small and enormous birds — together with contemporary, frozen, natural and antibiotic-free birds — to fulfill the wants of varied gathering sizes. Meijer-brand contemporary turkeys value 99 cents per pound, whereas Butterball contemporary turkeys are priced at $1.99 per pound, with a restrict of two per buyer for all contemporary and frozen turkeys.

“Our highest precedence is bringing worth to our prospects this vacation season,” in keeping with Don Sanderson, group vice chairman of meals at Meijer. “This Thanksgiving shall be important to lots of our prospects as they return to extra ‘regular’ traditions, and we wish to make celebrating that return straightforward by providing an reasonably priced turkey for each gathering.”


Meijer mentioned it is providing store-brand frozen turkeys for 33 cents per pound via Nov. 27.

By means of Thanksgiving eve on Nov. 24, BJ’s Wholesale Membership is providing members a free Butterball complete turkey with a coupon and a BJ’s $10 vacation purchasing award (redeemable Dec. 2 to 16) after they spend $100 on qualifying meals and nonfood gadgets in the identical transaction, both in-club or at BJs.com/FreeTurkey.

The greater than 200 qualifying merchandise for the free turkey supply span over 40 manufacturers, resembling Tide Pods Extremely Oxi Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Basic Mills Cheerios Cereal, Gold Medal Flour, Swiffer Moist Jet Starter Equipment, McCafe Premium Roast Espresso 84-count Okay-Cup Pods, Pampers Delicate Wipes and Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Dough, amongst different gadgets, BJ’s mentioned.

The Westborough, Mass.-based warehouse membership chain is also spotlighting its Wellsley Farms non-public model for Thanksgiving meal gadgets, together with natural russet potatoes for $2.79 (3 lbs.), natural child carrots for $2.59 (2 lbs.) and home-style mashed potatoes for $5.99 (24 oz. two-pack), in addition to Wellsley Farms Mile Excessive Apple Pie for $7.99 (48 oz.).

“This Thanksgiving, we all know our members are wanting to have a good time the vacations collectively, so we’re thrilled to supply our members not solely a free turkey promotion, however a $10 award as effectively, to assist them with their vacation purchasing,” Michael Leary, senior vice chairman and normal merchandise supervisor for perishables, grocery and drinks at BJ’s. “Whether or not purchasing in-club or from the consolation of their house, members can discover every part they should profit from their Thanksgiving time with household and buddies.”

Extra shoppers considering forward this 12 months

In its last spherical of Thanksgiving-specific weekly knowledge reviews, launched Friday, CPG market researcher IRI mentioned retail and provider availability of turkeys is holding up effectively amid record-breaking demand early within the purchasing season.

For the week ended Nov. 7, 2021, IRI estimated that about 50.5 million kilos of whole-bird turkey have been bought, up 114% versus a 12 months in the past and better than in some other 12 months for the three weeks previous to the vacation. That additionally got here atop unprecedented whole-bird turkey gross sales in October, when 30.6 million kilos have been bought, up greater than 200% from October 2020 and better than any October on file.

“Gross sales of whole-bird turkeys — together with frozen, contemporary and each by-the-pound and pre-weighted choices — are sturdy, and our conversations with retailers and suppliers counsel that they count on to have ample turkey choices in-stock within the week main as much as Thanksgiving,” reported Krishnakumar Davey, president of consumer engagement for IRI. “IRI knowledge continues to point out that Thanksgiving turkey gross sales have been early and elevated nationwide, together with file gross sales for whole-bird turkeys in October and thru the primary week of November.”

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With rising costs and out-of-stocks a priority this 12 months, many People shopped effectively forward of time for his or her Thanksgiving meals.

IRI famous that, regardless of greater costs in different grocery classes, its knowledge point out that inflation hasn’t impacted whole-bird turkey gross sales. The typical worth per pound for whole-bird turkeys in October was down 7 cents from a 12 months earlier. However greater costs in early November mirror a majority of gross sales with out worth promotions, which usually come out nearer to the Thanksgiving vacation. The researcher mentioned the common worth per pound for whole-bird turkey for the week ended Nov. 7 was a mean of 6 cents greater than in 2020 and 30 cents greater than in 2019, suggesting that buyers’ earlier begin for Thanksgiving meal purchases wasn’t aligned with retailers’ promotional pricing.

In a survey final week by shopper knowledge specialist Numerator, 38% of respondents mentioned inflation is inflicting them to buy Thanksgiving sooner than typical, in addition to nudging them to change to decrease priced manufacturers (37%) or store at a number of retailers to seek out the perfect costs (36%). But widespread information of ongoing snarls within the meals provide chain additionally has fostered earlier Thanksgiving purchasing. For instance, a late October/early November ballot by Inmar Intelligence discovered that 80% of shoppers are involved by the turkey provide in shops.

Equally, a Shopkick survey of over 6,500 People in the identical time interval revealed that 25% plan to have all of their Thanksgiving meal purchasing completed three weeks forward of the vacation, with the primary causes being to keep away from product shortages (63%) and last-minute worth will increase (51%). On the time, 23% of consumers reported already experiencing shortages on conventional Thanksgiving gadgets like pumpkin puree, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and different canned items (63%), meat (52%), frozen meals (39%), dairy merchandise (35%) and contemporary components (34%).  

In the meantime, 74% of shoppers plan to vary their Thanksgiving grocery purchasing habits due to rising costs, and 73% count on to be impacted by product shortages, in keeping with KPMG’s Thanksgiving and winter vacation survey, launched final week. In response to greater costs or merchandise not being out there, respondents mentioned they are going to store earlier, go to different retailers, cut back their vacation menu or purchase on-line.

“Shoppers are clearly voicing their intent to be conscious of inflationary worth will increase together with purchasing round as a substitute of constructing fewer journeys which was the development within the prior 12 months,” defined Matt Kramer, U.S. shopper and retail sector chief for enterprise consultancy KPMG. “For grocers, choices on the timing of promotional exercise to draw prospects whereas nonetheless combating the inflationary surroundings and provide chain challenges shall be a key balancing act as they give the impression of being to retain their loyal prospects.”

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