Delivery Disruptions, Inflation, High Food Demand Drive up Thanksgiving Meal By 14%

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has found that Americans will pay 14% more for food items during the coming Thanksgiving celebrations. The AFBF in its 36th annual survey found that the 14% increment is caused by economic inflation, disruptions to the supply chain, and high food demand since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The senior economist at the AFBF, Veronica Nigh, said the pandemic has impacted American life and economy so much so that there is difficulty in predicting the trend of commodities.

“These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat,” said Nigh.

The economist added that eating and cooking trends drove up the price of commodities at supermarkets, and the retail prices of foods are much higher in 2020 and 2021 than in 2019. On average, the AFBF said the cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people will cost $53.31 this year instead of the $46.90 – an increase of $6.41. A turkey weighing 16 pounds also costs $23.99, an increase of 24% from its price in 2020.

The US Department of Agriculture revealed that many grocery stores started to advertise the prices of commodities later and cheaper compared to last year. According to data, the prices of food products dropped by 18% from November 12-18 even though it was higher from November 5-11. This means shoppers can purchase cheaper turkeys and other products now than they were a week ago.

“Taking the turkey out of the basket of foods reveals a 6.6% price increase compared to last year, which tracks closely with the Consumer Price Index for food and general inflation across the economy,” Nigh said.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said it is possible that some grocery stores may not have sufficient turkeys on particular days before Thanksgiving. But ultimately, this will not impact or reduce the amount of food on people’s plates on Thanksgiving Day. He added that the government is working hard to ensure that small price increases do not affect the ability of people to eat good and sufficient food on that day.

“We know that even small price increases can make a difference for family budgets, and we are taking every step we can to mitigate that,” he said. “The good news is that the top turkey producers in the country are confident that everyone who wants a bird for their Thanksgiving dinner will be able to get one, and a large one will only cost $1 dollar more than last year.”