The holiday will be expensive
The Thanksgiving holiday table this year will cost Americans $10.74, or 20%, more than in 2021. That's according to a study released Wednesday on the National Farmers Union website.
The average cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 10 people will be $64.05, up from last year's average of $53.31. Turkey is up 21%, pie crusts are up 26% and sweet potatoes are up 11%.
This refrain was echoed by others picking up food in the pantry last week. "Inflation keeps sucking my blood," said one woman. And the pain is backed up by numbers.
It is worth noting that food prices in general, which have soared this year, have risen by almost 12.5% over the same time in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
More than any other item on the traditional Thanksgiving menu, the cost of turkey has soared over the past two years, with the price of the 16-pound bird increasing by nearly 50% between 2020 and 2022.
As inflated production costs drive prices up and down the grocery aisle, the turkey industry has been hit twice by avian influenza, a respiratory virus that has killed more than 8 million turkeys in the US, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The virus was detected in 46 states, contributing to a drop in turkey production of about 10% in the third quarter compared with last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation's chief economist said year-on-year production was down just 2%.
"It's been a very challenging year for the turkey industry and turkey farmers," said a spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation, which estimates that about 40 million turkeys are consumed on or around the Thanksgiving holiday each year.
She also said that despite the havoc wreaked by the bird flu, she doesn't expect buyers to have any trouble finding turkey this year. But those looking for a particular size or type of turkey should shop early, said the National Turkey Federation spokesperson.
So despite spending about $50,000 on turkeys this year, which is about double the amount spent last year.