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Thanksgiving dinners to cost 20% more than last year, data finds

Traditional food
Posted at 7:37 AM, Nov 16, 2022

The estimated cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will be 20% higher than a year ago, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The AFBF’s analysis looks at the cost of Thanksgiving staples, such as turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk.

The AFBF said providing enough food for 10 people with plenty of leftovers would cost $64.05 this year, up from $53.31 a year ago and $46.90 from 2020.

Nearly every Thanksgiving staple is over 10 percent more expensive than a year ago. The largest increase was for the price of stuffing mix, which saw a 69% increase. The cost of turkey increased 21% in the last year.

The only Thanksgiving staple that did not have a price increase from last year was cranberries, which saw a 14% decline.

While Thanksgiving dinners will be 20% more expensive than a year ago, average wages have only increased 4.7% in the last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“General inflation slashing the purchasing power of consumers is a significant factor contributing to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said AFBF chief economist Roger Cryan. "General inflation has been running 7% to 9% in recent months, while the most recent Consumer Price Index report for food consumed at home reveals a 12% increase over the past year.”

Cryan blamed food shortages, rising costs for farmers and the war in Ukraine for reasons the price of a Thanksgiving dinner has jumped.

Here are the average prices of items, according to the Farm Bureau:

  • 16-pound turkey: $28.96 or $1.81 per pound (up 21%)
  • 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $3.88 (up 69%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.68 (up 26%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $2.24 (up 26%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.90 (up 23%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.73 (up 22%)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $4.13 (up 20%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.28 (up 18%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.84 (up 16%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.96 (up 11%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 88 cents (up 8%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.57 (down 14%)

The AFBF uses data from volunteer shoppers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

The data found those in the West will likely pay more for their meals than those in the South. The Western U.S. would expect to pay $71.37 while those in the South would pay $58.42 for the same 10-person meal.

Here is a year-by-year breakdown of how much the same Thanksgiving meal has cost since 2015:

2015: $50.11
2016: $49.87
2017: $49.12
2018: $48.90
2019: $48.91
2020: $46.90
2021: $53.31
2022: $64.05