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Thanksgiving dinner cost increases

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

As Americans prepare for their annual Thanksgiving feast during a time of record high inflation, cost is a factor in preparing the grocery list for dinner.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released their 37th annual survey on the cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people.

According to the survey, this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 costs $64.05, or less than $6.50 per person. This is a $10.74 or 20 percent increase from last year’s average of $53.31, and an even higher increase from the 2020 average cost of $46.90.

Individual prices

Purchasing a turkey will cost 21 percent more than last year, at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird, $1.81 per pound.

Good news for the last minute shoppers, AFBF “volunteer shoppers” checked prices Oct. 18-31 before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices. According to U.S. Department of Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.11 the week of Nov. 3-9 and 95 cents the week of Nov. 10-16, a decline of 14 percent in just one week. 

Those who have not yet purchased a turkey may be able to find one at a lower cost than the AFBF average. 

Aside from turkey, almost every side dish is up in price as well. 

A 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix is $3.88, up 69 percent; two frozen pie crusts are $3.68, up 26 percent; a half pint of whipping cream is $2.24, up 26 percent; one pound of frozen peas is $1.90, up 23 percent; one dozen dinner rolls is $3.73, up 22 percent; miscellaneous ingredients to prepare the meal is $4.13, up 20 percent; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix is $4.28, up 18 percent; one gallon of whole milk is $3.84, up 16 percent; three pounds of sweet potatoes is $3.96, up 11 percent; a one-pound veggie tray of carrots and celery is 88 cents, up eight percent; and a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries is $2.57, down 14 percent.

The AFBF price survey also includes ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans, in an expanded holiday menu. Adding these foods to the classic Thanksgiving menu increased the overall cost by $17.25, to $81.30. This updated basket of foods also increased by 18 percent, compared to 2021.

Reason for increased prices

General inflation has been running seven to nine percent in recent months, while the most recent Consumer Price Index report for food consumed at home reveals a 12 percent increase over the past year. 

“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. 

“Other contributing factors to the increased cost for the meal include supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine,” Cryan added. “The higher retail turkey cost at the grocery store can also be attributed to a slightly smaller flock this year, increased feed costs and lighter processing weights.” 

Although there may be temporary, regional shortages in some states due to impacts of avian influenza, Cryan said the supply of whole turkeys available to consumers should be adequate this year.

“Farmers are working hard to meet growing demands for food – both in the U.S. and globally – while facing rising prices for fuel, fertilizer and other inputs,” he said.

AFBF president remarks

“We should not take our food supply for granted,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.

“Supporting sustainable productive agriculture in the U.S. and globally is imperative. As many of us gather with family and friends for a special meal, it’s a time for giving thanks and doing our part to help those who can’t afford a big holiday feast,” he added. “State and local farm bureaus across the country have strong partnerships with local food banks and I’m proud of their collective efforts to help ensure no one goes hungry.”

Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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