It’s not just the threat of a pandemic or political tensions after the election that threaten to ruin Thanksgiving dinner. Inflation is also a concern. And the avian influenza, which has claimed more than 7,000,000 turkeys in the United States this year.
A news release from the American Farm Bureau Federation said that Thanksgiving dinner prices could reach record levels.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index data, food prices have increased in general. The index for groceries, which measures changes in consumer prices over a 1-year period, was 12.4% higher as of October 2022. Although price increases in food and other goods have slowed, consumers should still be prepared for high prices this Thanksgiving.
Some consumers will find it more difficult to handle higher prices than others, as is the case with all price increases. David Ortega, an associate professor at Michigan State University’s department of agricultural, food, and resource economics, says that these price hikes are extremely high, but that they have the greatest impact on low-income families.
Higher-income consumers, who have increased their food spending since the beginning of the pandemic, are now spending more. Ortega states that the increased demand from these consumers has led to an increase in supermarket prices.
There are many reasons you might have to pay more for food this year.
Turkeys can be purchased, but they are more expensive
The humble turkey is the star of any meal. According to the Farm Bureau, you may find smaller turkeys on sale because some commercial farms have been impacted by the highly infectious HPAI (or avian flu) and are now bringing in younger turkeys to sell. It is important to note that HPAI doesn’t usually infect humans in this age of virus awareness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, )
Beth Breeding, vice-president of communications and marketing at the National Turkey Federation, said that despite the avian influenza, there is no shortage of turkeys.
Breeding states, “If a shopper’s looking for a turkey they’ll be able find one this Thanksgiving.” “We don’t have any concerns .”
These turkeys will be more costly than normal due to the effects from the avian influenza, but also because of the higher feed, fuel and fertilizer costs. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overall production costs have increased by almost 18% between 2021 and 2022.
According to the Farm Bureau, September saw record retail prices for boneless and skinless turkey breasts at $6.70 per pound. This is 112% more than the previous year. This price is much higher than the record $5.88 per pound set in November 2015 during an avian flu epidemic.
Remember that whole turkeys are more affordable than ever and the cost of each one varies depending on where it is grown. According to the USDA’s weekly Turkey Report for November 11, the average price of a whole-young fresh turkey is $1.80 to $2.17 a pound. Frozen turkeys tend to be cheaper than fresh and hens are generally less expensive than toms.
Breeding states that while it is clear that prices will rise for this holiday, the entire meal will be more expensive. However, there are still great deals on turkey and other value-added products.
Ortega suggests that customers shop around as supermarkets often offer deals and promotions to get customers in their doors.
More green will be laid for vegetables
You’ll be paying more for potatoes, corn, green beans and potatoes this year than you did in the past. As of September 2022, the Consumer Price Index shows a 9.2% increase in fresh vegetable prices year over year — which is indicative of price changes.
There are many factors that raise prices, including high transportation costs, supply-chain snags and climate events that impact agriculture.
Ortega states that climate change has had an impact on agriculture both domestically and internationally. California is, for instance, the No. According to the USDA, California is the No. 1 state in terms of agricultural production. Ortega states that extreme heat and drought have made it harder for crops to survive in these areas.
He says that weather changes can have an impact on production, yields, and productivity. This leads to higher food prices. Due to high oil prices, the industry has higher transportation and energy costs.
The wheat supply chains are still stretched
The cost of flour, a key ingredient in Thanksgiving staples such as rolls, stuffing, and pie crusts will rise due to higher wheat prices.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the cost per pound of flour rose 35% annually between October 2022 and October 2022.
Ortega states that compounding factors, like vegetables, are driving up the price. The war in Ukraine has also affected wheat prices. Ukraine is well-known as the breadbasket Europe, and for good reasons: It’s a major source of grain, wheat, and sunflower oil around the globe. According to Our World in Data, which is a project of Oxford University and the Global Change Data Lab, Russia produces 13% of the world’s grain.
Russia obstructed grain exports from the Black Sea for most of the year. However, the United Nations helped broker a deal that allowed grain exports to resume. This agreement is due to expire March 2023.
Ortega states that commodity prices have fallen substantially, but it takes some time for the lower costs to reach the grocery store.
Do not forget about higher milk prices
Butter and cream are essential ingredients in traditional Thanksgiving meals. According to BLS data, they are expected to be more expensive this year.
To top it all, canned whipped cream containers have been expensive for years due to a nitrous oxide shortage. It’s worsened by the conflict in Ukraine. Why? Why?
Comparison shopping is a great way to save money, even if the prices are higher than usual in certain aisles. It might be cheaper to eat out if all else fails.