Cost of Thanksgiving for 10 slightly higher in 2014

by Laura Lloyd
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WASHINGTON — The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 climbed slightly in 2014 to $49.41 compared with $49.04 in 2013, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.

In its 29th annual informal price survey of classic food items typically served on the holiday, the farm bureau said the centerpiece of the meal — a 16-lb turkey — was about the same price in 2014 as in 2013 at $21.65, a decrease of 11c per whole turkey or less than 1c per lb compared with 2013.

“Turkey production has been somewhat lower this year and wholesale prices are a little higher, but consumers should find an adequate supply of birds at their local grocery store,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist with the A.F.B.F.

In some cases, turkeys may be priced attractively as “loss leaders” at some grocery stores, in an attempt to entice shoppers to make other Thanksgiving-related purchases as well.

The price survey also included bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, peas, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and coffee and tea. Amounts were large enough to provide leftovers.

Foods with the largest relative increases in price in 2014 were sweet potatoes, dairy products and pumpkin pie mix, as well as carrots, celery and peas. Foods that declined modestly in price included bread stuffing, cranberries, pie shells and brown-n-serve rolls.

The average cost of the Thanksgiving dinner has remained around $49 since 2011, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.
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