2013 Turkey Tally

Published in CSP Daily News

Cost of classic Thanksgiving dinner down for this year

WASHINGTON -- The American Farm Bureau Federation's 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year's average of $49.48.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. There is also plenty for leftovers.

The big ticket item--a 16-pound turkey--came in at $21.76 this year. That was roughly $1.36 per pound, a decrease of about three cents per pound, or a total of 47 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2012. The whole bird was the biggest contributor to the final total, showing the largest price decrease compared to last year.

"The cost of this year's meal, at less than $5 per serving, remains an excellent value for consumers," said AFBF president Bob Stallman.

"Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings," added John Anderson, AFBF's deputy chief economist. "Slightly higher turkey production for much of the year coupled with an increase in birds in cold storage may be responsible for the moderate price decrease our shoppers reported."

Strategic shoppers may pay even less for frozen tom turkey compared to AFBF's 167 volunteer shoppers who checked prices at grocery stores in 34 states.

"Special sales and promotions on turkey and other holiday food items will continue right up to Thanksgiving," Anderson said. "If you have the patience to wait until the last minute to buy a turkey you might come home with an exceptional bargain."

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