Thank producers for lower price of this year's feast

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Many families make a habit of asking each member to mention something they are grateful for as they sit down the Thanksgiving feast.

Relatively cheap, abundant food might be first on the list.

Better yet, many share that abundance with the less fortunate, supporting food pantries and helping provide meals for the less fortunate.

Not only are Americans blessed with an abundance of food for Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal, but they’ll spend the least amount for it they’ve spent in five years.

The American Farm Bureau’s 32 annual price survey found that the traditional centerpiece, a 16-pound turkey capable of providing meat for 10 people with plenty of leftovers, is about 2 cents a pound cheaper than last year, or 36 cents cheaper than 2016.

Foods showing the largest drop in prices this year in addition to turkey, were a gallon of milk, $2.99; a dozen rolls, $2.26; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.45; a 3-pound bag of sweet potatoes, $3.52; a 1-pound bag of green peas, $1.53; and a group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), $2.72.

Foods that increased slightly included a half-pint of whipping cream $2.08; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.81; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.21; a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, $2.43; and a 1-pound veggie tray, $.74. There’s an increased consumer demand for full-fat dairy products, which caused whipped cream prices to climb.

All told, the average cost for this year’s feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average.

A total of 141 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 39 states, asked to look for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

Shoppers should be able to find similar prices nationwide, and ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, for $50 to $75, are available at many supermarkets and take-out restaurants.

Adjusted for inflation since 1986, when the survey was founded, this year’s Thanksgiving dinner would be $20.54, the lowest price since 2010.

The Farm Bureau attaches a dollar amount to the abundance of food most Americans enjoy this week, but we need to remember that family, friends and other blessings are priceless.

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