The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner reached a record $64 this year, driven by the highest inflation rates in four decades.
For a full turkey dinner for 10 guests, the American Farm Bureau estimates the cost at $64.05, up 20% from $53.31 last year and a record in the 37 years the bureau has released the survey.
Nearly half of that cost is the turkey. The Farm Bureau found that a 16-pound turkey will cost $28.96 this year, or $1.81 a pound, up 21% from last year. The bureau noted that its "shoppers” gathered prices Oct. 18-31, before many grocery stores may have offered discounts on frozen turkeys.
“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 Farm Bureau Chief Economist Roger Cryan.
Inflation has been running 7% to 9% in recent months, while the most recent Consumer Price Index report for food consumed at home reveals a 12% increase over the past year, the bureau noted.
In addition to turkey, the Farm Bureau’s dinner includes stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, for a family of 10 "with plenty for leftovers."
The Farm Bureau began its Thanksgiving dinner estimate in 1986, when the cost was $28.74. The price topped $40 in 2007.
The bureau also calculates the cost of an expanded menu that includes ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans. The cost of that menu rose to $81.30, up 18% from a year ago.
Costs were determined by averaging prices at 224 grocery stores from 50 states and Puerto Rico.
“Other contributing factors to the increased cost for the meal include supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine,” Cryan said. “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.”
Cryan said the supply of whole turkeys available to consumers should be adequate this year, although there may be temporary, regional shortages in some states where avian influenza was detected earlier this year.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Cost of Thanksgiving dinner reaches record high this year