Turkey Prices Drop, Making Thanksgiving Dinner Cheaper This Year, Says American Farm Bureau Federation

By Jessel Renolayan

Nov 18, 2023 03:50 AM EST

After years of steadily climbing prices, the traditional Thanksgiving gathering is poised to become more accessible to households nationwide as the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reported a downward trajectory in turkey prices.

Lower turkey prices are transforming this year's holiday dinner into a more budget-friendly celebration. 

Grocery Store
(Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

American Farm Bureau Federation Says Thanksgiving Dinner to Cost Less From Record High in 2022

The AFBF's annual survey reveals a notable dip in the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people, now estimated at $61.17, KTTC reported.

This marks a welcoming 4.5% decrease from last year's record high of $64.05, signaling a reversal in the trend of escalating holiday meal expenses. 

"Traditionally, the turkey is the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving dinner table," Veronica Nigh, senior economist at the AFBF, said in a press statement.

"Turkey prices have fallen thanks to a sharp reduction in cases of avian influenza, which have allowed production to increase in time for the holiday," she added. 

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Thanksgiving Turkey Has Dropped in Price

The recent AFBF marketbasket survey gathered responses from all 50 States, including Puerto Rico. Conducted between November 1 and 6, the survey responses are mostly from the contributions of "volunteer shoppers," (members checking prices) who checked prices during their visits to local grocery stores. 

According to recent findings, the Thanksgiving menu is experiencing a noticeable decline in prices, particularly with cranberries seeing an 18% decrease. 

However, this overall decrease is attributed to the centerpiece of the feast - the turkey. The current average cost of a 16-pound turkey stands at $27.35, reflecting a substantial 5.6% drop from the prices observed last year. 

This decline in turkey prices significantly contributes to the overall cost relief for Thanksgiving meals this year. Only a few items on the Thanksgiving menu have experienced an increase in cost this year, such as dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie mix, carrots, and celery. 

This insight from the AFBF underscores that while the overall trend is toward more affordable Thanksgiving dinners, certain components of the traditional feast have seen a rise in expenses.

"While shoppers will see a slight improvement in the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner, high inflation continues to hammer families across the country, including the nation's farmers," Zippy Duvall, president of the AFBF, said in the statement.

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