Thanksgiving Meal Costs More This Year

Posted On November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving(Undated) – It will cost you about eight percent more to set the table for a Thanksgiving meal this year.


The Indiana Farm Bureau has released its annual non-scientific survey tallying the retail costs of common items used in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, pinning the cost this year for a feast for 10 people at $49.38. The figure is up from $45.80 in 2010.


The traditional meal used in compiling the cost 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.


“Although we’ll pay a bit more this year, on a per-person basis, our traditional Thanksgiving feast remains a better value than most fast-food value meals, plus it’s a wholesome, home-cooked meal,” said American Farm Bureau Federation senior economist John Anderson.


The turkey receives most of the blame for the meal increase. The Indiana survey tracked a 20 cents per pound increase for the Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece for a total of $23.68.


Dairy products also contributed to a higher average costs. Pumpkin pie filling rose by 39 cents for a 30-ounce can to $3.11; whole milk, up by 32 cents/gallon to $3.15; a 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries, up by 15 cents to $2.47; a half-pint of whipping cream, up by 5 cents to $1.87; and stuffing, which rose by 2 cents to $2.50 for a 14-ounce bag.


Anderson explains the higher prices are due to an increasing global demand for quality food.


“The era of grocers holding the line on retail food cost increases is basically over,” Anderson explained. “Retailers are being more aggressive about passing on higher costs for shipping, processing and storing food to consumers, although turkeys may still be featured in special sales and promotions close to Thanksgiving.


In 1993, when the IFB first began its annual Thanksgiving meal survey, the average cost was considerably lower at $29.50.