Inflation has caused Americans’ food spending to increase significantly this year, and now the price hike is also making one of the country’s most popular dishes that much more expensive. The price of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten is up more than 20% compared to 2021, according to the American Farm Bureau.
It’s the second year in a row that high inflation has pushed up the cost of a standard Thanksgiving dinner. Inflation peaked for the first time in late 2021 as supply chain problems and other ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic sent prices soaring. In the past year, Americans have already shelled out about 14% more for their turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie ingredients, a marked departure from the slow rises (and sometimes even falls) in the price of the food in previous years.
According to data released annually, the price of a turkey — the most expensive item on any Thanksgiving shopping list — actually equaled the 20% total cost inflation of dinner. That rate was surpassed by buns, pie crusts, whipped cream and green peas, all of which rose by 22% to 27%. The item with the biggest price increase was stuffing, which now averages $3.88 for a 14-ounce box, up almost 70% from last year
In absolute terms, however, the price increases for the five products most affected by inflation amount to just under 4 US dollars. The more expensive turkey—although its cost increase was rated average by the Farm Bureau—incurs an additional $5 cost.
Wheat more expensive since the invasion of Ukraine
Three products containing wheat are among those whose prices have risen above average. The raw material was in short supply due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are large producers of wheat. While Ukraine’s harvest and exports were disrupted by the war, sanctions against Russia also created bottlenecks in world markets.
Looking at the price of Thanksgiving dinner ingredients over a five-year period, bun and pie shells saw the largest increases in cost and are now 50% to 65% more expensive. Filling comes in third place with a price increase of 38% over the last five years. Because Thanksgiving dinner prices stagnated for two years in 2018 and 2019 and even fell in 2020, the net increase in the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner between 2017 and 2021 was less than 10%.
Charted by statistics