Farm Bureau’s 2023 Thanksgiving Cost Survey is showing a directional change in food prices. Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau, says a Thanksgiving Day meal is a little cheaper than in 2022.
“This year, the Thanksgiving dinner is about five percent less than was reported last year. Certainly, inflation continues to be an issue for all of us. And it’s certainly worth noting that while we saw a decrease this year, Thanksgiving dinner is still up about 25 percent relative to 2019, the last year where things were relatively normal in U.S. food production. But directionally, things are looking up.”
Nigh says the national average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving Day dinner is $61.17. But different regions of the country will see big differences in costs.
“In the Midwest, we have the lowest cost for the Thanksgiving dinner at $58.66. Next in line is the South, followed by the West, and finally the Northeast with the most expensive basket at $64.38, which is almost $6 more than what we saw in the Midwest.”
Thanksgiving usually centers around turkey, and Nigh says that’s where the drop in prices begins.
“This year, turkey prices were down almost six percent compared to last year. I’ll take you back to 2022, when we had a really nasty outbreak of high path avian influenza, and while that still is lingering out there, the number of impacted turkeys in 2023 compared to 2022 are down more than 95 percent. Certainly, having contained high path avian influenza has led to lower turkey prices in 2023.”
For more information on the survey, go to fb.org.