This year's Thanksgiving meal will cost $.82-cents more than last year, with slightly higher prices for the turkey, and dairy products according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Holiday shoppers will pay more for milk and whipping cream for the pie.
In the Farm Bureau's 16th annual informal survey for the traditional holiday meal for a family of eight, the cost of this year's feast is $39.35, compared to $38.53 for last year's meal. The Farm Bureau conducted the survey of 14 food items of the traditional Thanksgiving meal in 25 communities across Wisconsin.
The Farm Bureau said the average "unadvertised" price for a 16-pound turkey increased 48-cents, or 3-cents a pound. The Farm Bureau reminds consumers that many will be able to take advantage of special in-store promotions or coupons resulting in much lower prices for turkeys than reported in this survey.
Dairy prices have been strong throughout the year and this is reflected in the Thanksgiving meal survey. The price for a gallon of whole milk increased nearly 25 percent from 2006. Milk cost $3.36 per gallon on average versus $2.70 in 2006. A half pint of whipping cream is $1.17, a 12-cent increase from 2006.
The American Farm Bureau Federation attributes the increase in turkey prices to higher energy prices, very strong export demand, and strong demand in general.
"Higher energy prices and strong demand are the main factors behind the turkey and dairy increases. The export market for turkey is strong and world demand for dairy products is skyrocketing," said Paul Ketring, Director of Communications for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.
"Still, for around $4.90 per person, families can enjoy a bountiful holiday meal. We are very fortunate to have this abundance and affordability coming from our farms," Ketring said.
The biggest decrease in the holiday meal was sweet potatoes. A 3-pound bag cost $1.30, a decrease of $1.26 from the 2006 price of $$2.56. Good rains in July helped this year's crops in Louisiana and Mississippi. Sweet potatoes are grown mostly in southern states with the typical harvest running from August to November.
A 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries was $1.92, down from last year's price of $1.96. Wisconsin's 2007 harvest is projected to be 1percent lower than last year according to the USDA. "Cranberries are most often turned into juice or other products. The slightly lower harvest quantities had little impact on fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving," said Ketring.
A 14-ounce package of stuffing added 28-cents to the cost of the meal, and carrots cost 32-cents more per one pound bag.
The cost of the pumpkin pie will cost slightly more this year. A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix averaged $1.85 or 11-cents more than last year, and the frozen pie crust cost 17-cents more.
The Farm Bureau Thanksgiving market basket meal includes: 16-pound self-basting turkey; 14-ounce package of herb-seasoned, cubed stuffing; 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix; and a package of two, nine-inch, frozen pie shells.
Also included were: three pounds of sweet potatoes; a five-pound bag of potatoes; 12-ounce package of brown-and-serve rolls; one-pound package of frozen peas; a half-pound each of fresh carrots, celery, and onions; 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries; one gallon of whole milk; and a one-half pint of whipping cream.
The Thanksgiving meal cost an average of $26.50 when the Farm Bureau conducted the first Thanksgiving meal Market Basket survey 16 years ago.