The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 31st annual informal price survey of classic items found at Thanksgiving Day dinner indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.87, a 24-cent decrease from last year’s average of $50.11.
The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $22.74 this year. That’s roughly $1.42 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 30 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2015.
“Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year,” AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton said. “We have seen farm prices for many foods – including turkeys – fall from the higher levels of recent years. This translates into lower retail prices for a number of items and confirms that U.S. consumers benefit from an abundant, high-quality and affordable food supply.”
The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.
Besides turkey, foods showing the largest decreases this year were a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.13; a gallon of milk, $3.17; a one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots, $0.73; and a group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), $2.81.
Items that increased modestly in price were a dozen brown-and-serve rolls, $2.46; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.59; one pound of green peas, $1.58; 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, $2.39; a half-pint of whipping cream, $2.00; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.67; and a three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes, $3.60.
A total of 148 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 40 states for this year’s survey.
The AFBF Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986 and to allow for consistent price comparisons has remained unchanged. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation.
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