INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WANE) – Inflation has caused prices of almost everything to rise, including groceries, meaning your Thanksgiving dinner will cost more this year than it did in 2021.
Each year, the Indiana Farm Bureau conducts a shopping cart survey that tabulates the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner, and this year shoppers can expect to spend 14 percent more than last year. According to this year’s price survey, Hoosiers pays an average of $61.00 for a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people, or $6.10 per person. However, Indiana’s basket price is about 5%, or 31 cents, below the US average price of $6.41 per person.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the main reason for the rise is inflation, as well as other factors including supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine, with other countries scaling back exports to protect domestic supplies.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says the consumer price index for at-home groceries for October 2022, a measure of grocery price changes, increased 12.4% year-on-year. Additionally, the current inflation rate for the average American was 7.8% as of October 2022, according to the US Department of Labor. Many consumers have felt the weight of inflation this year, including farmers who have been dealt a hard hand. While food prices have increased, input prices for the farmers who grow those foods have also increased.
“There is no question that it has been a difficult year for both consumers and farmers,” said Isabella Chism, INFB 2nd Vice President. “Farmers are used to being nimble and agile in a job that can be very unpredictable in terms of variables like the weather. But this year is different. Higher input costs presented a whole new set of challenges, all of which cost us more and trickled down to consumers.”
Farmers currently receive about 8% of every food marketing dollar, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s revised Food Dollar Series. Using this number, the farmer’s share of this basket would be $4.88. The rest goes into food processing, packaging, transportation, wholesale and retail distribution, food preparation, and other marketing costs.
“Just like consumers, farmers are price-takers, not price-setters,” Chism said. “While food prices are rising, the amount farmers are receiving does not cover the sharp increase in their operating expenses.”
$61.00 total basket price includes a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, buns, peas, a carrot and celery vegetable tray, whole milk, cranberries, whipped cream, pumpkin pie ingredients and assorted baked goods.
This year, buyers can expect to pay about $1.75 a pound for a whole turkey or $28.02 for a 16-pound bird, an 11% increase over 2021.
The decline in turkey populations caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is contributing to the short-term price increases for turkeys this year. According to Rebecca Joniskan, president of the Indiana State Poultry Association, about 50 million birds have died or been euthanized as a result of HPAI in 2022 so far. Eight million turkeys were lost nationwide, including over 171,000 in Indiana alone. However, in Indiana, turkey is typically produced year-round, while production in other states can be seasonal.
“This year has been difficult for Hoosier poultry farmers, both financially and emotionally,” Joniskan said. “But despite these losses, we’re still a resilient industry. There are still many turkey products on the market.”
According to the survey, pound for pound, turkey is cheaper than other meat options like ham, which costs $2.72 per pound, or $10.88 for a 4-pound ham.
Hoosiers can expect most traditional Thanksgiving items to go up in price this year; However, pie crusts and cranberries are more affordable than they are in 2021. The largest percentage price increase was for the diced bread filling, up 64% for 14 ounces. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, higher packaging and processing costs caused by supply chain disruptions and continued volatility in the wheat market were the main contributors to this increase.
Only pumpkin pie filling is slightly more expensive this year in Indiana than nationally. All other items on the shopping list were less than the national average, notably peas, pie shells and whole milk.
The INFB Thanksgiving Market Basket Survey was conducted in late October by volunteer shoppers across the state who surveyed the prices of certain foods at one of their local grocery stores. Volunteer shoppers were asked to search for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or shopping offers. Indiana’s survey was conducted in conjunction with a national survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.