Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Down for Third Straight Year

Podcast / Newsline November 15, 2018

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A survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows a classic Thanksgiving Day Dinner will cost slightly less this year. Micheal Clements reports.

Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 33rd annual survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $48.90, or less than $5.00 per person. This is a 22-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.12, and the third straight year of price declines. AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton attributes the lower overall cost of the dinner to the price of the Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Newton: One of the reasons that Thanksgiving dinner is going to be more affordable this year is the turkey. Turkey prices came in at $1.36 per pound, that’s down about 3 percent from what we saw last year.

Clements: Foods showing decreases this year in addition to turkey were milk, sweet potatoes, green peas and a dozen rolls. Several items saw modest price increases this year including cranberries, pumpkin pie mix and stuffing. Farm Bureau also surveyed the price of a traditional Thanksgiving meal available from food delivery services.

Newton: We surveyed some of the top food delivery services and found that the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner was about 60 percent higher. The average cost of a turkey was 50 percent higher. When using this food delivery service, the average cost was around $8 per person compared to less than $5 when going to the grocery store.

Clements: AFBF added three new items to the survey this year to reflect changes in consumer trends.

Newton: We added a bone-in ham, green beans and russet potatoes. Adding these new items to the Thanksgiving dinner menu reflects the diversity in Thanksgiving dinners across the country. And to add these three new items costs slightly more than $1 per-person, making the total cost of the Thanksgiving dinner slightly higher than $6 per-person.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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