Lifestyle & Belief

Thanksgiving dinner will cost 13% more this year


President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony with his daughter Malia (R) and National Turkey Federation Chairman Yubert Envia (L) at the White House on Nov. 24, 2010.


Win McNamee

Let’s talk turkey: It’s going to cost Americans more to put the traditional Thanksgiving meal on the table this year. According to a survey released by the American Farm Bureau Federation today, dinner for 10 will cost about $49.20 on average, or 13 percent more than last year's average of $43.47, CNBC reported.

It’s the biggest increase measured by the group’s informal survey since 1990, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

Since 1986, the Farm Bureau has sent shoppers out to buy ingredients for the same Thanksgiving menu, CNBC reported. This year, 141 shoppers from 35 states found that prices for nearly all the items on their list were up. The average price for a 16-pound turkey jumped the most – 22 percent, or 25 cents per pound more than last year. Increased demand for turkey, in the US and abroad, and higher production costs, particularly feed prices, are behind the runaway turkey prices, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Other price increases the shoppers found, according to the LA Times: a gallon of whole milk was up 42 cents to $3.66; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix had increased 41 cents to $3.03; and a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing was up 24 cents to $2.88.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek:

Thanksgiving meal costs are up more than the pace of food inflation in the U.S., where the government forecasts prices will increase 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year, the fastest since 2008. Rising commodity and energy prices boosted the cost of food eaten at home by 6.3 percent in September compared with a year earlier, according to data from the Census Bureau.

“Our informal survey is a good barometer of the rising trend in food prices this year,” John Anderson, a senior economist at the Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C., told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We are starting to see the supply response to higher prices, but there are substantial lags.”