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Keep Your Wallet Stuffed – U.S. Consumers To Benefit This Thanksgiving Thanks to Lower Grocery Prices

Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year

 

November 24, 2016

Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Americans have at least one thing to be thankful for this year: the average Thanksgiving meal will cost less thanks to lower grocery prices.

In its annual survey of Thanksgiving dinner prices, the American Farm Bureau Federation reported this week that the average price of a meal for 10 has fallen compared to last year. The group surveyed grocery store prices, excluding coupons and promotions, and found lower prices for items such as turkey, pumpkin-pie mix, carrots, celery, and milk.

A Thanksgiving feast will cost an average of $49.87 this year, a decrease of $0.24 compared with last year's average of $50.11. Last year was the first time the average price inched over $50 per meal.

The Federation said the average 16-pound turkey would cost $22.74, a drop of $0.30 per whole turkey compared to last year. The survey also found that the price of milk has fallen to its lowest level since 2009.

"Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year," said the Federation's Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton in a statement.

However, a few items on the Federation's shopping list saw an increase in price: a dozen brown-and-serve rolls, two nine-inch pie shells, a pound of green peas, 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, a half-pint of whipping cream, a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, and a three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes cost more than they did last year.

The Federation said the average 16-pound turkey would cost $22.74, a drop of $0.30 per whole turkey compared to last year.

Mary Pitman of Mary's Free-Range Turkeys, which has been raising turkeys in California's Central Valley since 1954, said her turkeys have bucked the trend of falling prices this year. "Our turkeys have not gone down in price. In fact they have gone up due to the fact that all of our turkeys were fed non-GMO feed this year," she said. "We raise special turkeys."

Pitman attributed the overall drop in turkey prices across the country to a simple issue of supply and demand. "Too many were produced" this year, she said in an email.

The AFBF's survey reflects a larger trend of falling food prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the cost of food at the supermarket dropped last month, with the food index for meat, fish, poultry, and eggs falling for the fourteenth straight month. Analysts say this is in part thanks to lower fuel prices, which are keeping packaging and shipping expenses down.

Whatever the reason, saving a few bucks this Thanksgiving will give consumers across the country cause for celebration at the dinner table on Thursday.

 

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