Survey shows price of classic Thanksgiving meal up 20% in 2022
This year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 will cost approximately 20% more than last year, according to American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 37th annual turkey day survey.
The price of this year’s 12-item Thanksgiving feast for 10 is projected to be $64.05, up $10.74 from last year’s average of $53.31, representing the greatest increase since the survey began.
“General inflation slashing the purchase power of consumers is a significant factor contributing to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan. General inflation has been running 7% to 9% in the last few months, while the most recent Consumer Price Index report for food consumed at home reveals a 12% increase over the past year.
“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 higher processing weights.
Adding up the costs
Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers checked retail prices Oct. 18-31 for this year's survey. The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey included turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty of leftovers.
The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables, the turkey, costs more than a year ago at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird, or $1.81 per pound, an increase of 21% from last year. Other meal staples saw price increases from 11% for sweet potatoes to a high of 69% for a 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix.
In recognition of changes in Thanksgiving dinner traditions, the Farm Bureau price survey also included ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans.
Adding these foods to the menu increased overall cost by $17.85 to $81.30, up 18% from last year.
AFBF reports turkey prices have come down since October, with the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys at $1.11 the week of Nov. 3-9 and 95 cents the week following, meaning consumers who haven't yet purchased their turkeys should be able to find one at a lower cost than the Farm Bureau average.
Cryan said the supply of whole turkeys available to consumers has been adequate this year, although there may have been temporary, regional shortages in some states where avian influenza was detected earlier this year.
“Farmers are working hard to meet growing demands for food — both here in the U.S. and globally — while facing rising prices for fuel, fertilizer and other inputs,” Cryan said.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall added, “We should not take our food supply for granted. Supporting sustainable, productive agriculture in the U.S. and globally is imperative.
" This year’s national average cost was calculated using 224 surveys across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The survey was first conducted in 1986 and provides a valuable record of comparative holiday meal costs over the years.