Rising Food Costs And A Turkey Shortage Threaten This Year’s Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving will not be the same this year. On top of the rising costs of food, the United States government is warning that there will be a shortage of bigger birds on turkey day.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Tuesday told reporters that this year’s avian flu outbreaks, which have killed over 8 million turkeys, have caused a shortage of bigger birds in some regions of the country. 

“Some of the turkeys that are being raised right now for Thanksgiving may not have the full amount of time to get to 20 pounds,” Vilsack said. “I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about whether or not you can carve your turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s going to be there, maybe smaller, but it’ll be there.”

It will be more difficult to get a turkey on the table regardless of the size, it seems, as prices for the thanksgiving bird are up around 28% year over year, according to USDA data. The average price of a 16-pound fresh turkey is now $1.47 a pound, versus $1.15 last year.

Prices for other thanksgiving favorites are up, too. Food prices are up an average of 11.2% based on the last CPI print, with dairy products up almost 16%, fruits and vegetables up 10.4%, and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs are up 9% compared to September last year.

Major grocers are working on getting shipments earlier to make sure families will get what they need for their Thanksgiving dinner. Walmart announced on Thursday that it will be selling traditional thanksgiving items at last year’s prices — including whole turkeys for less than $1 a pound.


Information for this briefing was found via Axios, USDA, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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