Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you can enjoy some sort of Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.

If you were the one shopping for ingredients to prepare food for the holiday, you likely kept a close eye on the price tag for staples that make up a typical Thanksgiving feast. Although a few items were more expensive this year than last, overall, the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner was down in 2023 compared to 2022.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Thanksgiving dinner survey found that a meal for 10 people cost $61.17 in 2023, or approximately $6.12 per guest. That was down 4.5% from 2022, when the price reached $64.05 for a 10-person meal. The cost has spiked in recent years, with the 2023 cost coming in 25% higher compared to 2019, when that same meal cost $48.91.

The drop in cost per person was led by a lower price for a 16-pound turkey, which was down $1.61 or 5.6%. A few other shopping cart items also fell noticeably in price, including one from the dairy aisle. Whipping cream cost $1.73 per half pint, down 22.8% from 2022. The price of fresh cranberries also declined by 18.3% compared to last year.

The two items that rose in price the most were pumpkin pie mix and dinner rolls, up 3.8% and 3%, respectively. The average prices and change in price compared to 2022 for the 12 ingredients included in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey can be found in the table below.

Prices vary by region and personal preferences for purchased ingredients, but there is no doubt that food prices have continued to climb over the years. When the survey was first conducted in 1986, it cost $28.74 to feed 10 people a Thanksgiving meal. Still, this season of thankfulness is a great time to appreciate that food is more affordable in the United States than other countries. According to the USDA, American consumers spent 6.7% of their disposable income on food in 2022, which was the least of the 104 countries measured.

Thank you for being part of American agriculture that helps keep overall food costs reasonable. Your hard work is appreciated!

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2023
November 22, 2023
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