Thanksgiving 2023: A Feast of Mixed Economics

Inflation Plateaus, but Thanksgiving Costs Still Pinch Pockets


Frozen turkeys sit in a refrigerated case inside a grocery store in Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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(AURN News) — As Americans gear up for Thanksgiving 2023, the economic landscape reveals a mixed bag of news – a temporary respite from inflation but lingering strains on family budgets.

Inflation remains a thorn in the side of many American families, but this week’s Labor Department report brought a glimmer of relief, revealing a flat inflation compared to the previous month. However, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 38th annual survey, released Wednesday, paints a nuanced picture of the cost of Turkey Day this year.  

The overall cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people has decreased by 4.5 percent from last year, coming in at $61.17. This dip is mainly attributed to a 5.6 percent drop in the price of turkey compared to the previous year. Despite this moderation, the overall meal cost remains 25% higher than in 2019 before the pandemic. “Traditionally, the turkey is the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving dinner table,” Veronica Nigh, Senior Economist for the AFBF, said in a press release.

“Turkey prices have fallen thanks to a sharp reduction in cases of avian influenza, which have allowed production to increase in time for the holiday,” she added.

A majority of Thanksgiving staples have become more affordable this year. Whipped cream and cranberries saw the most significant price decrease, while pumpkin pie mix and dinner rolls saw the biggest increases compared to last year.

International comparisons also offer perspective on the economic realities we’re facing in the U.S. The survey reveals that, despite the challenges, American food prices account for approximately 6.7 percent of disposable income. This contrasts sharply with countries like Nigeria, where citizens spend 59 percent of their disposable income on food.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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