Costs Of Thanksgiving Dinner Down

(Wisconsin) Lower turkey prices mean a more affordable Thanksgiving dinner this year according to Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s annual Marketbasket survey. The annual Thanksgiving survey is an informal review of food price trends in relation to changing farm prices, weather, wholesale and retail food marketing. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members collected price samples of 15 Thanksgiving food items in 27 communities. Volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

This year’s survey rang in more than two dollars less than last year at this time. Wisconsin Farm Bureau spokesperson Sarah Hetke says the survey’s total price of $45.01, when divided by 10 people, shows a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal can cost approximately $4.50 per person. A huge factor in this cost reduction is the price on the centerpiece of nearly every Thanksgiving meal, the turkey.  Wisconsin’s average price for a 16-pound turkey was $20.96 in 2017 while a bird of the same size is $19.04 this year, down $1.92. Hetke credits a large supply of fresh and frozen turkeys leading to lower prices at the grocery stores.

On the average over the last three decades, retail grocery prices have gradually increased, but according to the U.S Department of Agriculture, the average share of every dollar spent on food that farm families receive has decreased. In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures.  Since then that figure has decreased steadily and is now only 14.8-percent.