Report shows slight increase in Thanksgiving fixings

Published 4:43pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

The cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberries and all the trimmings increased by less than 1 percent — or 28 cents this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, 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. The average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.48, a 28-cent price increase from last year’s average of $49.20.

“Thanksgiving Dinner is a special meal that people look forward to all year,” John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist said. “Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings. A slight increase in demand for turkey is responsible for the moderate price increase our shoppers reported for the bird.”

Charlie Ammons, owner of Washington Street Supermarket, said he wasn’t sure how much money his customers will spend on their Thanksgiving menus.

“I would guess on average for Thanksgiving Day, $25 or $30, maybe $40 if they buy a turkey or a couple of hams,” Ammons said.

Ammons said the day’s most traditional bird is not their biggest seller.

“We don’t sell a lot of turkeys. We sell a lot of hens and hams on Thanksgiving and of course, celery and bell peppers, stuff like that,” he said. “Smoked pig neck, [which is actually a shoulder off a shoulder of a hog] — that’s what sells the best for us.”

Kevin Johnson, manager of Winn-Dixie on Highland Avenue said their top selling Thanksgiving items are stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkeys and hams.

Johnson said he didn’t think shoppers would see a significant price increase this year.

“I don’t know that it would be true for our [store],” he said of the AFBF’s findings. “We have a lot more specials this year than we normally have. I think most of everything we have that’s holiday related is on some sort of sale”

While the national average for one of the most talked about meals of the year may have seen a slight price increase, “at just under $5 per person, the cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

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