Thanksgiving is going to be different this year because of COVID-19. There is one tradition that continues this year, and it’s the American Farm Bureau’s annual survey on the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner. The 35th Farm Bureau survey says the average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $46.90, which breaks down to less than $5 per person. It’s a $2 decrease from last year’s average cost of $48.91.
“The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is the lowest it’s been since 2010,” says Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton. “Pricing whole turkeys as ‘loss-leaders’ to entice shoppers and move product is a strategy we’re seeing retailers use that’s increasingly common the closer we get to the holiday.”
The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables is the turkey, which costs less than last year. A 16-pound bird will cost $19.39, about $1.21 per pound, and is seven percent lower-priced than in 2019. Besides turkey, other foods that showed price declines include whipping cream and sweet potatoes. Foods with modest cost increases include dinner rolls, cubed bread stuffing, and pumpkin pie mix.