Thanksgiving Meal Cost Flat, But Dairy Portion Drops

John DavisAFBF, Audio, Feed

It might cost you about the same to gobble up your Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner this year as it did last year, but while shoppers will be happy, dairy producers might not be so thankful.

“Our meal for 10 people that includes a 16-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, relish tray, pumpkin pie… the whole nine yards… this year we think is going to cost us $49.48. And that’s only about 28 cents more than we were last year,” explained Bob Young, economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation during an interview at Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention. That translates to less than a 1-percent price increase… not too bad when you consider how some commodity prices spiked due to the drought. But Young pointed out that some of holding those costs steady included a drop in what the dairy items on the table brought at the supermarket. “Milk prices are lower today than they were last year, so a lot of the dairy products… the butter, the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie… went down.”

Young went on to point out that overall, the value of the U.S. crop this year increased from this summer’s estimates from about $63-65 billion to today’s $85 billion, because of the high prices when estimates pushed prices for the commodities up and then harvests turned out better than expected. He said while some sectors really took a hit from the drought, such as dairy because of the higher feed prices, obviously, some areas that got good corn crops enjoyed quite a windfall.

Read more about AFBF’s Thanksgiving dinner estimates here.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Young, AFBF economist