Thanksgiving Dinner to Cost ‘Significantly More’ This Year

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Increases in food prices mean Thanksgiving meals might end up being more expensive for families this year.

Market research firm IRI predicts that your Thanksgiving meal will cost about 13.5% more compared to last year, based on how retail prices in the four weeks through October 16 compared to the same period in 2021. IRI measures items including turkey and other meat, baking essentials, beverages and popular side dishes in its list of Thanksgiving foods.

Even if retailers offer promotions in the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, those prices will still likely be higher than in the same period a year ago, said Alastair Steel, executive of IRI Client Engagement.

According to Bradley Rickard, a Cornell University food and agricultural economist, “Across the grocery store aisles, we have seen a rise in food prices that will lead to a significant increase in the cost of ingredients for our upcoming Thanksgiving meal. The latest data shows that prices for foods sold in grocery stores have increased 13% on average between September 2021 and September 2022. 

“In the past year, meat prices overall rose 7.7%, and poultry costs – including turkey – have increased by 17.2%. Poultry costs have faced further pressure given their input costs and, in part, due to the outbreak of avian flu in the United States in 2022. In grocery stores, dairy prices have increased by 15.9%, bread and bakery prices are up 16.2%, egg prices rose by 30.5%, fats and oils increased by 21.6%, and fruits and vegetables rose by 10.4%. 

“Grocery store prices began to rise during the pandemic and food inflation has continued due to surges in fuel costs and fertilizer costs, plus increases in feed costs. In addition, a decrease in the labor supply has put additional upward pressure on food prices, especially for those crops that are labor-intensive.”