Farm Bureau survey shows Midwest has lowest Thanksgiving meal cost
The American Farm Bureau Federation reports the average cost of this year's Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $61.17, a 4.5% decrease from last year. However, the cost is still 25% higher than in 2019.
Those living in the Midwest will reap the benefits of a more affordable Thanksgiving meal, averaging $58.66.
“Food inflation remains elevated but has fallen in 2023 compared to the last several years,” says Dr. Christopher Pudenz, Iowa Farm Bureau economist. “At the same time, the overall cost decrease reflected by Farm Bureau’s survey is more appropriately attributed to turkey supply.”
There were fewer cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2023 compared to 2022. With more turkeys available, the average price of this Thanksgiving centerpiece dropped to $27.35, or $1.71 per pound, a 5.6% decrease from last year.
The most significant price fluctuations were 12-ounce bags of cranberries and half pints of whipping cream, which dropped 18% and 23% respectively. Pumpkin pie filling and a 12-pack of dinner rolls saw modest price increases at 3.8% and 3%.
While a less costly holiday meal is welcome news for many, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers receive less than 15 cents of every dollar spent on food, with the rest covering marketing, transportation, and labor. Data recently released by the Iowa National Agricultural Statistics Service also shows average annual farm production costs in Iowa exceeded $420,000. Pudenz adds while high grain prices helped offset record expenses, farm income is forecasted to decline by 23%.
“Agriculture has always played a critical role in Thanksgiving traditions,” says Pudenz. “Despite livestock diseases, drought impacts, and high input costs, farmers continue to provide the essential foods for these family gatherings, all while maintaining high standards of animal welfare and conservation. And that is certainly something to be thankful for.”
The American Farm Bureau annual Thanksgiving dinner survey is compiled with pricing data provided by Farm Bureau members from all 50 states from Nov. 1-6. Items in the survey include frozen pie crusts, pumpkin pie mix, whipping cream, dinner rolls, fresh cranberries, rolls, whole milk, frozen peas, sweet potatoes and stuffing. An expanded menu, which includes boneless ham, russet potatoes and frozen green beans, increased the classic meal price to $84.75.
For additional details on the survey results, visit www.fb.org.
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