Thanksgiving dinner value jumps again up

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

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) thirty sixth annual survey reckoned the typical 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 yr — to the bottom price ticket for a Thanksgiving dinner since 2010 — and a one cent improve to $48.91 in 2019, earlier than the pandemic.

“A number of elements contributed to the rise in common value of this yr’s Thanksgiving dinner,” Veronica Nigh, senior economist on the Washington, D.C.-based American Farm Bureau Federation, stated in a press release. “These embrace dramatic disruptions to the U.S. financial system and provide chains over the past 20 months, inflationary stress all through the financial system, issue 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 particular person — displays a dearer turkey. This yr, AFBF’s survey pegged the typical 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 yr. The bureau’s volunteer buyers 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 stated USDA Agricultural Advertising Service knowledge present grocery shops beginning to promote decrease characteristic costs for turkey later than standard this yr. Additionally, the typical per-pound characteristic 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, customers who haven’t but bought a turkey ought to be capable to discover one at a decrease value than the survey common, AFBF reported. However the greenback ring for the remainder of the Thanksgiving procuring basket nonetheless is available in greater than a yr in the past.

“Taking turkey out of the basket of meals reveals a 6.6% worth improve in comparison with final yr, which tracks intently with the Shopper Worth Index for meals and common inflation throughout the financial system,” based on Nigh.

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AFBF’s procuring checklist 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 by means of 218 surveys utilizing pricing knowledge from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Volunteer buyers checked costs in particular person 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 yr 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 elements to organize the meal (+36 cents to $3.45), 12 oz. of recent 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%), recent cranberries (+11%), the veggie tray (+12%) and miscellaneous elements (+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 basic Thanksgiving dinner raised the whole common value by $15.41 to $68.72 this yr, marking a 14% total worth improve from $60.11 in 2020, when the value tag for the larger menu declined practically 4% from $62.32 in 2019.

The entire meals within the expanded Thanksgiving menu noticed worth hikes this yr, 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 customers 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 customers well-aware of the upward development in meals pricing, retailers have pitched in to rein in Thanksgiving dinner prices.

For the second straight yr, Aldi stated a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for 10 folks prices a median 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, recent 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 yr.

In line with a Morning Seek the advice of survey of two,200 U.S. customers, commissioned by Aldi, virtually 90% of hosts count on to spend $50 or extra on a Thanksgiving meal for as much as 10 friends. Aldi stated buyers can spend at the very least 40% much less by buying gadgets for the vacation meal by means of the Batavia, Sick.-based low cost grocer, at a price of lower than $3 per particular person — leaving extra money for different potential gadgets resembling appetizers, alcoholic drinks and further desserts.

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

Rival deep low cost grocer Lidl is providing a conventional Thanksgiving dinner for lower than $30 as effectively. The procuring basket, additionally primarily based on the AFBF survey and serving 10 folks, features a 13-pound turkey, bagged stuffing, candy potatoes, inexperienced beans, carrots, celery, Hawaiian candy rolls, recent 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 offer buyers the power 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, buyers at Lidl can present household and mates 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 spread of well-stocked turkeys, addressing clients’ rising issues about provide and worth. Via Nov. 27, buyers can purchase Meijer-brand frozen turkeys for 33 cents per pound.

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

“Our highest precedence is bringing worth to our clients this vacation season,” based on Don Sanderson, group vice chairman of meals at Meijer. “This Thanksgiving might be vital to lots of our clients as they return to extra ‘regular’ traditions, and we wish to make celebrating that return straightforward by providing an inexpensive turkey for each gathering.”


Meijer stated it is providing store-brand frozen turkeys for 33 cents per pound by means of Nov. 27.

Via 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 procuring 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

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

The Westborough, Mass.-based warehouse membership chain is also spotlighting its Wellsley Farms personal 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 desperate 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 procuring,” Michael Leary, senior vice chairman and common merchandise supervisor for perishables, grocery and drinks at BJ’s. “Whether or not procuring in-club or from the consolation of their house, members can discover every thing they should take advantage of their Thanksgiving time with household and mates.”

Extra customers pondering forward this yr

In its remaining spherical of Thanksgiving-specific weekly knowledge studies, launched Friday, CPG market researcher IRI stated retail and provider availability of turkeys is holding up effectively amid record-breaking demand early within the procuring 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 yr in the past and better than in every other yr 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 document.

“Gross sales of whole-bird turkeys — together with frozen, recent and each by-the-pound and pre-weighted choices — are robust, 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 shopper engagement for IRI. “IRI knowledge continues to indicate that Thanksgiving turkey gross sales have been early and elevated nationwide, together with document 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 yr, 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 common worth per pound for whole-bird turkeys in October was down 7 cents from a yr earlier. However greater costs in early November replicate a majority of gross sales with out worth promotions, which generally come out nearer to the Thanksgiving vacation. The researcher stated the typical worth per pound for whole-bird turkey for the week ended Nov. 7 was a median 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 stated inflation is inflicting them to buy Thanksgiving sooner than standard, in addition to nudging them to modify 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 procuring. For instance, a late October/early November ballot by Inmar Intelligence discovered that 80% of customers 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 procuring 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 buyers 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 recent elements (34%).  

In the meantime, 74% of customers plan to vary their Thanksgiving grocery procuring conduct due to rising costs, and 73% count on to be impacted by product shortages, based on KPMG’s Thanksgiving and winter vacation survey, launched final week. In response to greater costs or merchandise not being out there, respondents stated they may store earlier, go to different retailers, scale back their vacation menu or purchase on-line.

“Customers are clearly voicing their intent to be conscious of inflationary worth will increase together with procuring round as a substitute of constructing fewer journeys which was the development within the prior yr,” 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 clients whereas nonetheless combating the inflationary setting and provide chain challenges might be a key balancing act as they give the impression of being to retain their loyal clients.”