Emily Hanlin mugshot-Thanksgiving pricesStudy shows slight increase in Thanksgiving dinner cost

By Emily Hanlin

Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau

BOONE COUNTY – The golden brown turkey, the crunchy bread stuffing, the bright red cranberries, and of course that sweet, sweet pumpkin pie were all around the nation as folks prepared for their biggest meal of the year. But, how much did this meal cost you?

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) releases an annual survey announcing the cost of your typical Thanksgiving meal every year based on the markets and economy.

This, the 30th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for ten people was $50.11. That was a 70-cent increase from the 2014 average of $49.41, a less than a two percent increase.

“The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $23.04 this year. That’s roughly $1.44 per pound, an increase of less than nine cents per pound, or a total of $1.39 per whole turkey, compared to 2014,” the AFBF stated.

Some believe that the slight increase in our Thanksgiving meal is due to the Avian Bird Flu outbreak this year.

“There were some turkey production disruptions earlier this year due to the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest. Turkey production is down this year but not dramatically. Our survey shows a modest increase in turkey prices compared to last year. But we’re now starting to see retailers feature turkeys aggressively for the holiday. According to USDA retail price reports, featured prices fell sharply just last week and were actually lower than last year,” AFBF Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson said.

The $50.11 meal includes 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. There is also plenty for leftovers.

AFBF found that besides turkey, pumpkin pie mix, a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, cubed bread stuffing and pie shells also increased in price compared to 2014.

“A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix was $3.20; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.61; and two nine-inch pie shells, $2.47.”

There were concerns earlier this year because of wet weather conditions, that the pumpkin production was low. However, the supply of canned product was suitable for this holiday season.Thanksgiving prices

Although some foods did increase in price this year, items that declined modestly in price were mainly dairy items. One gallon of whole milk, coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), whipping cream, fresh cranberries, carrots, celery, and green peas all decreased slightly in price.

“The average cost of the dinner has remained around $49 since 2011. This year’s survey totaled over $50 for the first time,” the AFBF stated.

“America’s farmers and ranchers are able to provide a bounty of food for a classic Thanksgiving dinner that many of us look forward to all year,” Anderson said. “We are fortunate to be able to provide a special holiday meal for 10 people for just over $5 per serving.”

This Thanksgiving, as my family gathered around our table, we focused on the true meaning of this holiday: to be thankful. We were thankful for friends and family we spent time with but most of all, we showed thanks for the farmers who grew everyone’s Thanksgiving dinners.

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