(Dodge County) Despite COVID-19 challenges, Thanksgiving meal prices remain stable this year according to the 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 28 communities including Watertown. Volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they were also encouraged to use internet shopping services.
This year’s survey rang in at 60-cents less than last year at this time. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Spokesperson Sarah Hetke says the survey’s total price of $60.97; when divided by 10 people shows a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal can cost approximately $6 per person. Wisconsin’s average price for a 16-pound turkey was $21.76 in 2019 while a bird of the same size is $20.32 this year. A 12-ounce can of fresh cranberries saw a 22-cent decrease to $2.03 when compared to a year ago. A pound of green beans dropped 14-cents while 14-ounces of stuffing went up three-cents. A 30-ounce pumpkin pie saw a ten-cent drop to $3.38. The nation average for a Thanksgiving meal came in at $60.11.
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 14.6-percent.