According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), an independent, grassroots organization representing farm and ranch families, the cost for a Thanksgiving dinner this year, including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings, will increase by 13 percent.
The average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.20, a $5.73 price increase from last year’s average of $43.47.
The AFBF survey list of itmes, measured in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10, 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.
AFBF noted that their cost for a 16-pound turkey was $21.57 this year, an increase of about 25 cents per pound, or a total of $3.91 per whole turkey compared to 2010. The turkey was the biggest contributor to the final total, and constituted the largest price increase compared to last year.
John Anderson, an AFBF senior economist said the era of grocers holding the line on retail food cost increases is basically over.
“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,” Anderson said.
Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.
Specific AFBF price item increases are listed as follows:
“A gallon of whole milk increased in price by 42 cents per gallon, to $3.66. Other items that showed a price increase from last year were a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.03, up 41 cents; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.52, up 6 cents; a ½ pint of whipping cream, $1.96, up 26 cents; one pound of green peas, $1.68, up 24 cents; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.88, up 24 cents; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.30, up 18 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.26, up 7 cents; and fresh cranberries, $2.48, up 7 cents.”
A total of 141 volunteer shoppers from 35 states participated in this year’s AFBF survey. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.
This year, U.S. consumers are paying record prices for items such as hams, ground beef, bread, flour and cheese. Bloomberg notes world food costs are 68 percent higher than five years ago, and have risen by 40 percent just since June 2010.
According to Oxfam International, an international confederation of 15 organizations in 98 countries, the price of staple foods including corn will more than double in two decades.
Analysts claim policy makers in Europe are concerned that “surging energy and commodity costs will spark a wage-price spiral, further entrenching inflation.”
Higher food prices are here to stay in restaurants and grocery stores, and prices will continue to rise.
U.S. consumers paid close to three percent more when dining out in September than last year, while food prices at supermarkets were 6.2 percent higher. The cost inflation on grocery store items has accelerated faster than the cost of dining out during the past year.