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AFBF: Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rises Just a Penny
USAgNet - 11/21/2019

The American Farm Bureau Federation's 34th annual survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $48.91, or less than $5.00 per person. This is a 1-cent increase from last year's average of $48.90.

"The average cost of this year's Thanksgiving dinner is essentially unchanged from last year, after three years of decline since 2015," said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton. "Americans continue to enjoy the most affordable food supply in the world, but most don't realize only 8 cents of every dollar consumers spend on food goes to farmers," he added.

In a new Farm Bureau survey, most Americans were surprised to learn the farmers' share of the food dollar is so small. Three out of four Americans are interested in learning more about how their food is produced. Farm Bureau farmer and rancher members, state educational foundations, as well as others involved in food production, are responding to public interest with expanded outreach and educational opportunities. Survey results indicate Americans have faith in those who grow their food, with 88% saying they trust farmers.

"The Thanksgiving price survey opens the door to a deeper dialogue about how food is produced and how prices remain so stable despite volatility in the farm economy this year and severe weather hampering planting and harvest," Newton added.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables -- the turkey -- costs slightly less than last year, at $20.80 for a 16-pound bird. That's roughly $1.30 per pound, down 4% from last year. The survey results show that retail turkey prices are the lowest since 2010.

The shopping list for Farm Bureau's informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

Although the overall average cost of the meal was about the same this year, there were some price changes for individual items. In addition to turkey, foods that showed slight price declines include cubed bread stuffing and canned pumpkin pie mix. Foods showing modest increases this year included dinner rolls, sweet potatoes and milk. After adjusting for inflation, the cost of this year's Thanksgiving dinner is $19.13, down slightly from last year.

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