Some cost relief for Thanksgiving dinner but still high

Nov. 21—As Americans shop for Thanksgiving dinner, they'll gobble up some savings this year.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation's 38th annual Thanksgiving dinner survey, this year's classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 will cost $61.17, or about $6.12 per guest.

This represents a 4.5 percent decline from last year's high prices, driven by a drop in the price of the dinner centerpiece — the turkey.

The average retail price for a fresh whole turkey is now $1.37 per pound, down 16 percent or $0.26 per pound from 2022, according to a recent Wells Fargo report.

"Given that the original wholesale-to-retail spread started from such an elevated point, it's unlikely the consumer will see the complete benefit of the drop in wholesale turkey prices," the Wells Fargo report stated.

Despite the year-over-year relief, the cost is still 25 percent higher compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dawn Taylor, assistant manager at the Save A Lot store in the Ashtabula Harbor, said customers are shopping for the big day.

As for commenting on the prices, Taylor said, "They've been OK."

At Orlando Bros. Golden Dawn in Conneaut, fresh pies are $9.99; dinner rolls, $3.99, and a one-pound bag of shelled walnuts for $3.49.

Tina Ogren, manager of the deli/bakery at Orlando Bros., said they are ready for an influx of Thanksgiving shoppers.

"Our deli/bakery boasts homemade salads and breads — perfect for holiday dinners," she said.

The AFBF market basket survey included responses from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. It was collected between Nov. 1-6, mostly by volunteer shoppers visiting their local grocery stores.

The surveyed items included a turkey, cubed stuffing, frozen peas, cranberries, pie shells, whipping cream, whole milk, a relish tray, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie mix.

Of all items surveyed, pumpkin pie mix ($4.44 per 30 oz. can) and dinner rolls ($3.84 per dozen) had the largest percent increase at 3.8 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Products with the largest percentage drop in prices were whipping cream ($1.73 per half pint) and fresh cranberries ($2.10 per 12 oz.) at a decrease of 22.8 percent and 18.3 percent.