Thanksgiving dinner costs down 4%

According to the Farm Bureau’s annual survey, this feast remains affordable at $5 per person.
EDITED BY ANNE BLANKENBILLER
Thanksgiving dinner costs

2020 Thanksgiving gatherings are likely to be fewer and farther between with social distancing and remote family get-togethers, but most Americans will likely still sit down to some sort of traditional dinner. Another tradition continuing this year is the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual cost survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table.

Farm Bureau’s 35th annual survey indicates the average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving feast for 10 remains affordable at $46.90, or less than $5.00 per person. This is a $2.01 decrease from last year’s average of $48.91. The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

“The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is the lowest since 2010,” said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton. “Pricing whole turkeys as ‘loss leaders’ to entice shoppers and move product is a strategy we’re seeing retailers use that’s increasingly common the closer we get to the holiday,” he explained.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables — the turkey — costs less than last year, at $19.39 for a 16-pound bird. That’s roughly $1.21 per pound, down 7% from last year. The survey results show that retail turkey prices are the lowest since 2010.

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