Economy, Americas

Amid record inflation, US Thanksgiving to cost 20% more

Turkey prices up 23% from last year, 10-person dinner rises 14%

Ovunc Kutlu   | 24.11.2021
Amid record inflation, US Thanksgiving to cost 20% more


The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner in the US has jumped around 20% from last year, as the world's largest economy struggles with record high inflation, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Turkey prices are up around 20% year-on-year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). A 16-pound turkey costs around $1.41 per pound, up 23% from last year.

Apart from turkey, almost everything on the Thanksgiving dinner table has seen a price surge, from potatoes and cranberries to green beans, onions, parsley and rosemary.

While there is more demand for food this year, since families could not gather last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, much of the price increase is attributed to the rising cost of farming and energy prices, in addition to labor force shortages.

American consumers are expected to spend $312 on average during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. A 10-person Thanksgiving dinner is estimated to cost $46.20, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, however, said a feast for 10 people is estimated to cost $53.31 on average -- a 14% increase from the 2020 average of $46.90.

US consumers, however, are facing the highest inflation since 1990 during the current Thanksgiving weekend and holiday season.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.2% in October, the largest 12-month increase since November 1990. Core CPI jumped 4.6% year-on-year, its largest 12-month rise since August 1991.

Holiday shopping, food waste

Fewer people are projected to shop during Thanksgiving weekend, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly 2 million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

An estimated 158.3 million people are expected to shop Thanksgiving weekend, it said. Although that level is up from 156.6 million in 2020, it is still below the 165.3 million before the pandemic in 2019.

Some 30.6 million plan to shop in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, 108 million the day after on Black Friday, 58.1 million the following day on Small Business Saturday, 31.2 million on Sunday and 62.8 million during Cyber Monday, according to the federation survey.

As seen in previous years, consumers will shop multiple days and will continue the trend of beginning holiday shopping earlier.

While 61% of consumers have already started holiday shopping, 46% have begun earlier this year than they typically do, according to the federation survey.

The USDA, meanwhile, urged against Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, during which 200 million pounds of turkey and 150 million pounds of side dishes are estimated to go to waste in a single day, it said.

A family of four in the US tosses around 1,160 pounds, or $1,500 worth of uneaten food on average annually, according to the agency.

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