Friday, November 18, 2016

How much will the Thanksgiving meal cost this year?

See Thanksgiving meal to gobble up less money this year by Jeff Daniels of CNBC. Excerpts:
""The average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.87, a 24-cent decrease from last year's average of $50.11," the Farm Bureau said Thursday. The traditional holiday dinner's cost was down less than 1 percent this year from 2015 and it marks only the third time in a decade that the annual survey shows an overall price decline.

A 16-pound turkey — the biggest single ticket item in the meal — averaged $22.74 this year, or 1.3 percent below 2015. The survey was conducted in 40 states with price checks on roughly a dozen items.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its turkey price forecast for the current fourth quarter, saying "supplies of product are large." Overall, the retail food category has experienced flat or lower prices much of this year, according to government data.

"Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year," John Newton, the Farm Bureau's director of market intelligence, said in a statement. "We have seen farm prices for many foods — including turkeys — fall from the higher levels of recent years."

The item with the biggest price decline in percentage terms this year is a 1-pound tray of carrots and celery, which the survey showed coming in at 73 cents, or 7.6 percent below last year. The meal item with the biggest percentage price increase this year was a dozen rolls, which averaged $2.46, or up 9.3 percent from 2015.

Elsewhere, the average price of pumpkin pie mix in the survey was down 2.2 percent from last year but the price of pie shells was up 4.8 percent in the same period. The Farm Bureau report said pumpkin prices fell slightly this year despite some production declines."

"Finally, the price of a 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing was up 2.3 percent from a year ago. And a half pint of whipping cream was up by about 3 percent."
Also interesting: The percentage of income that Americans spend on food has been in a long-term decline.

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