Here’s Why Thanksgiving Dinner Will Be 13% More Expensive This Year

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The cost of Thanksgiving dinner will be 13% higher this year than last, as prices rose for everything from turkey to green peas. A meal for 10 people will rise to $49.20 this year, up from $43.47 in 2010, the biggest increase since 1990.

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The American Farm Bureau Federation has based its estimate on prices for foods traditionally served on Thanksgiving, including stuffing and pumpkin pie. Turkey was the most expensive item on the bureau’s report, and also had the biggest gain, with a 16-pound bird up 22% to $21.57.

“Our informal survey is a good barometer of the rising trend in food prices this year,” said John Anderson, a senior economist at the Farm Bureau in Washington. “We are starting to see the supply response to higher prices, but there are substantial lags.”

Thanksgiving meal costs are up more than general food inflation in the U.S., where the government expects food prices to increase 3.5% to 4.5% this year.

Though global food prices, as tracked by the United Nations, have fallen 9.1% from a record in February, world food costs are still 68% higher than five years ago. U.S. consumers are still paying record prices for foods including hams, ground beef, bread, flour, and cheese.

The Farm Bureau’s survey of Thanksgiving foods shows a 17% increase in the price of frozen green peas, a 16% increase in the price for a 30-ounce can of pumpkin-pie mix, a 15% increase for a half-pint of whipping cream, a 13% increase for a gallon of milk, a 9% increase for a 14-ounce bag of stuffing, an 8.5% increase for 12 rolls, a 2.9% increase for fresh cranberries, and a 2.2% increase for three pounds of sweet potatoes.

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The informal price survey has been conducted every year since 1986, and the menu of the sample dinner has remained unchanged since then, to allow for consistent price comparisons.

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