Cost of classic Thanksgiving dinner down for 2013

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.

November 20, 2013

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. There is also plenty for leftovers.

The big ticket item—a 16-lb turkey—came in at $21.76 this year. That was roughly $1.36/lb, a decrease of about 3 cents per pound, or a total of 47 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2012. The whole bird was the biggest contributor to the final total, showing the largest price decrease compared to last year.

In addition to the turkey, other items that declined in price included a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.18; 1-lb of green peas, $1.54; a 14-oz package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.67; fresh cranberries, $2.42; a half pint of whipping cream, $1.85; and two nine-inch pie shells, $2.49. Items that showed a moderate price increase from last year included 3 lbs of sweet potatoes, $3.36; 1 gallon of whole milk, $3.66; and a 30-oz can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.10.

The average cost of the dinner has remained around $49 since 2011. Despite retail price increases during the last year or so, American consumers have enjoyed relatively stable food costs in general over the years, particularly when adjusted for inflation. The stable average price reported this year by Farm Bureau for a classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the government’s Consumer Price Index for food eaten at home, which indicates a 1% increase compared to a year ago.

Press release

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