Thanksgiving Feast Remains Affordable


Thanksgiving Feast remains affordable

The American Farm Bureau’s classic Thanksgiving Dinner Survey shows the average cost of feeding 10 people is $50.11, increasing less than 2 percent from 2014. That comes to only a 70-cent increase from 2014. Increases in the average price for turkey, pumpkin pie mix, brown-n-serve rolls, cubed bread stuffing and pie shells are the main drivers behind the modest increase. 

There was a $1.39 increase for turkey this year, with $23.04 for the whole bird or $1.44 per pound. An average price for a 16-pound turkey in Montana was $23.84. The average cost of the Thanksgiving dinner has been stable since 2011, coming in at about $49.

Items that declined modestly in price were mainly dairy items including one gallon of whole milk, a half pint of whipping cream, and 12 ounces of fresh cranberries. A one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery and one pound of green peas also decreased slightly in price. Montana food prices followed the trend, with most items slightly higher than the national average.

“Retail prices seem to have stabilized quite a bit for turkey, which is the centerpiece of the meal in our marketbasket,” AFBF Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson said. “There were some production disruptions earlier this year due to the highly pathogenic Avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest. Turkey production is down this year but not dramatically. Our survey shows a modest increase in turkey prices compared to last year, but we’re now starting to see retailers feature turkeys aggressively for the holiday. (Surveys were conducted before any items were on sale.) According to USDA retail price reports, featured prices fell sharply just last week and were actually lower than last year,” he added.

“The Thanksgiving meal remains very affordable whether you buy all of the ingredients and prepare the food yourself or opt for a prepared meal you bring home to heat and serve,” said Montana Farm Bureau shopper Janet Krob. “This Thanksgiving, be sure to give thanks to the farmers and ranchers who work hard to make this traditional meal possible.”

This is the 30th annual informal survey of classic food items typically found on the Thanksgiving Day table. The AFBF survey was first conducted in 1986. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau's survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.


Source:  Montana Farm Bureau Federation

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