Inflation has caused Americans’ grocery spending to significantly rise this year and now the increase in prices is also making one of the country’s favorite meals that much more expensive. According to the American Farm Bureau, the price of a ten-person Thanksgiving dinner increased by more than 20% compared to 2021.
It is the second year in a row that steep inflation has made the cost of a standard Thanksgiving dinner sting. In late 2021, inflation first peaked as supply chain issues and other lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic caused prices to shoot up. Last year, Americans already had to shell out around 14% more for their turkeys, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie ingredients, a steep departure from the slow increases (and sometimes even decreases) in the price of the meal in previous years.
According to the annually released data, the price of a turkey—the costliest item on every Thanksgiving shopping list—was actually in line with the dinner’s overall cost inflation of 20%. This rate was surpassed by rolls, pie crusts, whipping cream and green peas, which all increased in price by between 22% and 27%. The item with the biggest price increase was stuffing, which now costs $3.88 on average for a 14-ounce box, up almost 70% from last year
In absolute terms, however, the combined price increases for the five products hit most by inflation amount up to just under $4. The pricier turkey—even though its cost increase was rated as average by the Farm Bureau—racks up an extra cost of $5.
Wheat pricier since invasion of Ukraine
Three products using wheat are among those whose prices increased more than the average. The commodity has been in short supply due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are large-scale producers of wheat. While Ukraine’s harvest and its exports were interrupted by the war, sanctions against Russia caused a shortage on world markets as well.
Looking at the price of Thanksgiving dinner components over the course of five years, roll and pie shells saw the biggest cost increases and are now 50% to 65% more expensive. Stuffing comes third at an 38% price increase over the course of the last five years. As Thanksgiving dinner prices stagnated for two years in 2018 and 2019 and even fell in 2020, the net cost increase of a Thanksgiving dinner between 2017 and 2021 was actually below 10%.
Charted by Statista