Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner to Cost Less This Year

News / Newsline November 19, 2020

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The annual Thanksgiving price survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows lower prices for a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. Micheal Clements shares the data behind the decline.

Clements: The Farm Bureau survey tracking the cost of traditional Thanksgiving dinner items dropped roughly four percent from last year.  AFBF Chief Economist John Newton says the cost of an average Thanksgiving dinner continues to be less than $50.

Newton: This year, our volunteer shoppers across the country found that the average price for a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of ten came in at $46.90, down about four percent from what we saw last year and the lowest level we’ve seen since 2010. On the turkey side, the most important component of the meal, a 16 lbs. bird came it at $19.39, that’s down nearly seven percent from last year with an average price of $1.21 per pound.

Clements: Newton says the survey reflects changes in commodity prices this year.

Newton: On the dairy side, we saw whipping cream come in at $1.74 for a half pint, that’s down 16 percent. And I think that reflects what we’ve seen happen in the dairy industry this year with butter prices and cream prices having fallen pretty significantly from last year. A lot of butter moved through the restaurant channel and with COVID-19, we’ve seen that demand diminished and those prices moved lower.

Clements: Newton says the results of the survey shows a traditional Thanksgiving dinner remains affordable for consumers.

Newton: I think what we see is Thanksgiving continues to be affordable, less than $5 per person. So, I think consumers have the luxury of continuing to get that 16 lbs. bird, or even a larger bird, and still add some additional fixings on the side, maybe a ham, mashed potatoes or green beans, to make that dinner more special.

Clements: Find the complete survey results at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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