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The Price of Thanksgiving Goes Up in 2021

The inflation trend is making Thanksgiving more expensive this year.

By:  |  November 22, 2021  |    492 Words
GettyImages-72618751 Turkeys

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Over the last decade, the prices of Thanksgiving feasts have gone down each year. That is changing this year, with the holiday getting more expensive in 2021. This could force U.S. households to trim their servings of turkey, apple pie, mashed potatoes, and little tiny onions.

Pass the Potatoes, Not the Savings

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) expects the typical Thanksgiving dinner will cost more in 2021. The group says it could cost 14% more than last year.

Turkeys weighing between 8-16 pounds cost 25 cents per pound more than they did a year ago. From the cranberry sauce to fresh biscuits and rolls, nearly every food item has gone up in price since last year’s festivities.

Here is a look at how much some of the most popular foods at Thanksgiving have increased in cost over the last year:

  • Whole frozen turkey: +20%
  • Ham: +7.1%
  • Bread: +2.3%
  • Pies: +4.1%
  • Milk: +4.3%
  • Potatoes: +1.7%
  • Canned Vegetables: +6.6%
  • Sauces & Gravies: +1.8%

But why is food getting more expensive in the United States this year?

The Rise of Food Inflation

thanksgiving GettyImages-525363577

(Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

The price of making food is rising. The cost of fertilizer, animal feed, and fuel is growing. In the next stage of the supply chain, there is a shortage of workers who can help with transport and packaging.

AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh said the COVID pandemic has caused the price to rise. She pointed to factors like “disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months” due to the virus and lockdowns. It was also difficult to predict what products would be in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning it was hard to guess what items people would be buying.

Nigh added that there is a “high global demand for food, particularly meat,” right now. More people have been cooking and eating at home since 2020, causing a rise in prices at grocery stores as they try to adapt.

Inflation (a general rise in prices) is affecting other items, too. The appliances needed to cook these big dinners are also getting more expensive.

Demand is large as more people travel for this year’s Thanksgiving. Last year, many Americans stayed home. They couldn’t visit family and friends because of the pandemic. Gasoline prices are rising, making the trip to see Aunt Karen and Grandfather John a bit costlier.

How Are Families Responding?

A new FinanceBuzz survey showed that most Americans (63%) think growing food costs will affect their turkey dinners. One-quarter of Americans say they may need to trim their servings on the dinner plate, and one-fifth say they are planning to host fewer guests.

Bloomberg News noted that many families are using other ways to save money. This includes buying less meat and cooking fewer side dishes.

Some experts think the spring of next year could be when the country starts to see lower prices.

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