Ingredients for a typical holiday feast, with turkey and all the
trimmings, averaged $49.41, up 37 cents from $49.04 in 2013, the
American Farm Bureau Federation said in its 29th annual survey.
Results were derived from 179 volunteer shoppers who checked prices
at grocery stores in 35 states. This year's holiday will be
celebrated on Nov. 27.
The meal's big-ticket item, a 16-pound turkey, came in at $21.65, or
about $1.35 per pound, a decline of less than 1 cent a pound or 11
cents for a whole bird.
Thrifty home chefs would count themselves lucky a crown roast of
pork or prime rib of beef was not on the menu, since prices for
those meats have skyrocketed this year, while poultry, on average,
has only inched higher.
The Thanksgiving dinner ingredient basket, with a year-on-year gain
of 0.75 percent, rose much less than overall food inflation,
estimated by the Department of Agriculture at 3 percent this year.
“Turkey production has been somewhat lower this year and wholesale
prices are a little higher, but consumers should find an adequate
supply of birds at their local grocery store,” said John Anderson,
the Farm Bureau's deputy chief economist.
Reversing a recent trend, U.S. turkey meat production rose 2.6
percent in the third quarter from a year ago, the USDA said this
Some grocers also use turkeys as “loss leaders" to entice shoppers
to buy other popular Thanksgiving foods.
Anderson said: "We are blessed to be able to provide a special
holiday meal for 10 people for about $5 per serving, less than the
cost of most fast-food meals.”
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The Farm Bureau's dinner also includes bread stuffing, sweet
potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of
carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, plus coffee and
milk, all in quantities enough for a family of 10, with leftovers.
Foods posting the biggest increases were sweet potatoes, dairy
products and pumpkin pie mix. Among those declining modestly in
price were stuffing, fresh cranberries, pie shells and
The average cost of the dinner has remained around $49 since 2011.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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