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The cost of the annual Thanksgiving feast is expected to take a big chunk out of consumer budgets, with prices of some staples seeing double-digit percentage increases.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that all food prices will increase by 9.5% to 10.5% in 2022, but grocery prices are predicted to rise between 11% and 12%. Increased cost resulting in lower production and higher labor and transportation expenses as well as diseaseBad weather and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Grocery inflation drives Americans to restaurants on Thanksgiving
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Even with rising prices, the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving meal for 10 is projected to be about $64.05, up 20% from 2021, according to the Farm Bureau’s 37th annual survey. According to the survey, the cost of a main dish alone for a 16-pound bird is estimated to be approximately $28.96, up 21% from the previous year.
Due to the current economic climate, economists are also beginning to question whether eating out is a better economic choice.
Inflation hits Americans’ grocery bills as food prices soar
Wells Fargo reports “Is This the Year to Dine Out for Thanksgiving?” The cost of staples from poultry to fruits will outpace the overall food at home and food away from home categories on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The report analyzed the cost gap from November 2021 to August 2022 using CPI data.
Wells Fargo area managers Courtney Buerger Schmidt and Brad Rubin and chief agricultural economist Michael Swanson already forecast turkey prices would rise more than 20% compared to last year’s fourth quarter.
He also cautioned that turkey supplies will be “more limited” due to the continuing effects of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
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“Turkey prices rebounded after bird flu wiped out livestock earlier this year. While inventories have rebounded, costs will be higher per pound,” the authors said.
Bürger Schmidt and Rubin also warned that egg prices, which have also been affected by bird flu, have already increased by 32.5% from November 2021 to August 2022. Meanwhile, butter and flour have increased by 25.8% and 17.1%, respectively, according to their findings. ,
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The least increase was in the prices of fruits and vegetables, with prices increasing by 7.3%.
Rubin told Fox Business that consumers are also noticing differences in popular side dishes such as potatoes and cranberry sauce due to weather problems and increased input costs this year.
For example, a cold spring in Idaho and Washington delayed potato and onion crops, while drought in California combined with warm temperatures “reduced the yield of celery, carrot and onion crops,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, “Cranberry sauce, a staple of the holiday meal, will cost more on grocery store shelves due to cranberry growers facing rising input costs,” the report continued.
Inflation prompting some Americans to skip Thanksgiving dinner this year: Survey
Americans may find some respite from the costs, however, if they seek alternatives such as sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes, for example, “are a surplus at the moment and are more readily available,” Rubin told Fox Business.
“Consumers can get a better price on that commodity than white potatoes, which have a lower crop and prices will be higher based on the principles of supply and demand,” he added.
Still, according to Rubin, groceries are on the rise so that smaller families may want to consider eating out.
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“The cost of eating out has risen at a slower rate than at home according to the Consumer Price Index, so eating out, considered a luxury, is a big value this year,” Rubin said.
According to Rubin, the cost for a family of four could be about the same and eating out will be the most financially rewarding this year.
However, for a large family gathering, eating at home would be more economical, he said.
Consumers face double-digit price increases
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