Will 2021 Be the Most Expensive Thanksgiving Ever?

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This year as we celebrate all the things we’re thankful for, the inflated price of Thanksgiving dinner won’t be on the list.

Soaring grocery costs for menu items are shaping up to make 2021’s Thanksgiving dinner the most expensive on record. Nearly every component of the traditional meal will cost more this year, say economists, farmers, and grocery execs. And that isn’t limited to food items alone. It includes all the accoutrements up to the aluminum pan used to bake your turkey.

One executive chef from Arkansas said he paid 20 percent more for the 25 turkeys he needed this year for his restaurant. Another sweet potato farmer in North Carolina cites trucking fees that are twice the usual cost he pays for deliveries. A woman in Chicago bemoaned paying $2 over the typical price for one bottle of vanilla. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it … but in the end it’s all going to get passed on to the consumer.”

There isn’t one culprit in particular, but rather a calamitous combination of factors including supply chain woes, labor shortages, inflated transportation costs, trade issues, and even bad weather hampering crops. Resultingly, according to the Consumer Price Index, food costs as a whole have increased 4.6 percent over last year, and the price of staples like meat, eggs, and poultry are up a whopping 10.5 percent.

“I picture a perfect storm of increased demand and lack of supply,” said a food writer in North Carolina, who is stocking up on items he can keep in the freezer or cupboard in advance of the big day. 

Price per pound for turkey is expected to surpass its previous record high, in large part due to jumps in the cost of corn fed to turkeys, which more than doubled from last summer to this one. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Norman Brown of Wada Farms in Raleigh. “I don’t know what the answer is, but in the end it’s all going to get passed on to the consumer.”

While we still have plenty to be thankful for, how will rising food costs affect your Thanksgiving holiday plans? To learn what other market sectors will be affected and some of the reasons behind it, continue reading here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/25/dining/thanksgiving-inflation-supply-chain-food-costs.html

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