Missouri shoppers will find the price for most items used to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal slightly lower from 2015. Shoppers across the nation are finding a similar story, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Thanksgiving Marketbasket Survey results released this week.
For 31 years, the AFBF and Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) tracked food prices for a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal to feed 10 people. This includes a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, cranberries, peas, relish tray, sweet potatoes, brown-and-serve rolls, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of milk and coffee.
Volunteer shoppers collected prices at local stores across Missouri to determine pricing for this year’s holiday meal. They found a meal for 10 people averaged $50.46 this year, or $5.05 per person. Compared to 2015 prices for the same items, this amounts to an overall decrease of $1.46, or about 15 cents per person. Nationwide the average price totaled $49.87, or $4.99 per person.
“Despite the strong supply of turkeys on the market, turkey prices were slightly higher than 2015,” said Diane Olson, Director of Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Programs. Turkey was one of three items that actually had a slight increase; the other two were onions and brown-and-serve rolls.
Average price per pound for turkey rang in at $1.42 both in Missouri and across the nation. Last year’s average price was $1.37. The meal cost is based on a 16-pound bird, so the centerpiece of the meal, the turkey, accounted for $22.72 of the total.
“Expect those prices to shift as Thanksgiving approaches and stores use low turkey prices to attract customers, who then buy other things,” Olson adds. “This year, turkey farmers didn’t face an inordinate amount of challenges, so turkey supply is ample.”
Dairy prices were down significantly across the board. Milk, butter and whipping cream were all lower in price this year, given the surplus supply in the market and lagging exports, according to Olson.
The increase in the brown-and-serve rolls price is harder to explain, though may be reflective of highly processed food costs.