Price for Thanksgiving Dinner Drops 4 Percent


Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings dropped 4 percent in price this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 24th annual informal price survey.

The price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s average of $44.61.

“As we gather this Thanksgiving for food and fellowship, it’s fitting to take a moment to recognize and give thanks, not only for the abundant food we enjoy as Americans, but for the hard-working farm and ranch families across our nation who produce it,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

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.

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The cost of a 16-pound turkey, at $18.65 or roughly $1.16 per pound, reflects a decrease of 3 cents per pound, or a total of $.44 per turkey compared to 2008.

Milk, at $2.86 per gallon, dropped $.92 and was the largest contributor to the overall decrease in the cost of the 2009 Thanksgiving dinner.

“Consistent with the retail food price declines seen throughout the year, consumers will pay just a bit less for their Thanksgiving feast this year,” said Jim Sartwelle, an AFBF economist. “Consumers are benefiting at the grocery store from significantly lower energy prices and the effects of the economic slowdown. Again this year, the cost per person for this special meal is less than a typical ‘value meal’ at a fast-food outlet,” Sartwelle said.

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