US U.S. Thanksgiving Feast Estimated to Cost 14 Percent More This Year Thanks to Inflation
Joe Manchin and Larry Summers were both right about inflation but disagree on Biden's agenda. Who's right will determine the path of his presidency and the economy.
Manchin and Summers were both right to argue that inflation is bad and getting worse, but they disagree on Build Back Better. The stakes are massive.He's in his 60s or 70s, and he remembers when inflation was terrible in the 1970s - he's been warning about it ever since Joe Biden was elected president.
Families across the U.S. could find that their Thanksgiving meals are significantly more expensive than normal.
The American Farm Bureau said that an average Thanksgiving feast for 10 people will cost around $53.31 this year, a 14 percent increase from last year. Staples of this sample include turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, a vegetable tray and rolls.
An Obama Economic Adviser on Biden’s Big Inflation Problem
“I’ve long thought Washington was doing too little, but it has now overcorrected and done too much,” says Harvard’s Jason Furman.But while there are many supply-side factors driving inflation, from supply-chain issues to a unprecedented labor shortages, there is also red-hot demand from consumers for goods and services, meaningfully stoked by the $1.9 trillion stimulus package Biden passed in March, according to Harvard economist Jason Furman, who served as one of Barack Obama’s top economic advisers. In January, Furman wrote an op-ed in the The Wall Street Journal arguing that the stimulus package should be contingent on the pace of the country’s economic recovery.
What makes this statistic especially unusual is the fact that the costs for meals since 2015 have been falling. Experts, including Butterball President and CEO Jay Jandrain, are attributing this spike in cost to inflation around the country.
"The inflation is real," Jandrain told the Associated Press. His company supplies around one-third of turkeys commonly cooked for annual Thanksgiving get-togethers. They, along with other companies, have struggled to hire new workers earlier this year. However, Jandrain said that their previous shortage woes have subsided, allowing the same number of turkeys to be shipped to grocery stores as last year.
"Everybody is saying that. Everybody is feeling it," he continued. "Whether it's labor, transportation, packaging materials, energy to fuel the plants—everything costs more."
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Thanksgiving Day will feature three games in 2021. As always, the Lions and Cowboys will be in action.The NFL is entering its 16th season of scheduling three games for Thanksgiving Day. Only two games were played last year. The night game between the Steelers and Ravens was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns, but the Lions and Cowboys continued their decades-long streak of playing on the holiday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the average price of an 8-16 pound frozen turkey was up $1.35 per pound this month. That is a price increase of 21 percent from last year. Fresh pumpkins, which saw smaller crops in Illinois and California, are also averaging $2.72 per pound. Green beans are up by 4 percent and canned cranberry sauce is up 2.5 percent in prices.
These high prices, especially for turkeys, could persist into 2022.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
While turkeys waited, they grew bigger, adding to already skyrocketing costs for corn and soybean feed.
"The good news about that is everybody loves the after-Thanksgiving leftovers, and they are going to have more of them this year," Jandrain said.
Pumpkin crops were smaller due to heavy rains and a fungus in Illinois—a top supplier—and drought in California.
Ryanne Bowyer of Dallas, Texas, usually buys turkey a day or two after Thanksgiving to save money. But this year, she signed up for Ibotta, a receipt-scanner app, which gave her a turkey, potatoes, corn, soup, gravy and cornbread from—all free—just for signing up.
How the American Right Claimed Thanksgiving for Its Own
Pass the free enterprise, please.Making use of excerpts from Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford’s journals, all of these pieces tell roughly the same story about “the real meaning of Thanksgiving”: the Pilgrims went to Plymouth in 1620 with a utopian vision of holding property in common, but after being mugged by the reality of two years of poor harvests and starvation, they abandoned collectivism for capitalist individualism. These articles conclude in roughly the same way: The lesson of the first Thanksgiving was that “socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets.
"If that hadn't come along, the plan was just to go to the woods with my wife and grill wieners," Bowyer joked.
Still, many retailers facing cost pressures of their own are pulling back on their usual Thanksgiving promotions. In the week before Thanksgiving, the number of U.S. stores offering specials on turkeys was at the lowest level since 2017, said Mark Jordan, the executive director of Leap Market Analytics, which follows the livestock and poultry markets.
"There will still be some discounts, but some of the extreme giveaways are going to be fewer and farther between," Jordan said.
Diana Jepsen, a retiree from West Hartford, Connecticut, said she usually pays $1 per pound for her Thanksgiving turkey. This year, her 23-pound Butterball cost $1.50 per pound. But she still thinks that's a good value, especially compared to the recent price increases she has seen for beef and chicken.
Jepsen will celebrate Thanksgiving with 21 family members, including her 96-year-old mother. Her Cuban-American family bastes the turkey in a mojo criollo marinade. Jepsen's husband, George Jepsen, the former attorney general of Connecticut, cooks the turkey, following his mother-in-law's recipe. Other staples they serve, including black beans and yucca, haven't increased in price, she said. Jepsen also got boxed stuffing on sale.
Inflation narrative is flawed
There's a big problem with the current inflation narrative: It may not be the whole story. Beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, surging demand and supply chain issues, there's also the roles played by corporate America, President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve.The inflation narrative is largely set. The coronavirus pandemic created supply chain snarls. It put production out of whack. As demand has roared back following Covid-19 lockdowns, prices have soared.
"We still think it's a good bargain to be able to serve that many people," she said.
Feed costs remain elevated, along with labor and transportation costs.
That could help the turkey business, however, which for years has faced faltering demand for parts like turkey breasts and deli meat. The industry slaughtered 159 million turkeys in the first nine months of 2021, giving the U.S. its lowest per capita supply of turkey since 1987, Jordan said. Higher prices could encourage farmers to raise and slaughter more turkeys next year.
For some shoppers, availability—not price—was the biggest concern this year. Lauren Knapp, an economist in Rochester, New York, bought two frozen turkeys on sale weeks earlier than she might have because she worried about shortages. Knapp and her partner plan to make a practice meal on Thanksgiving and a second meal for relatives in early December.
"Friends in D.C. were saying it would be a chicken Thanksgiving because they can't find turkey anywhere," said Knapp, who was relieved turkeys were available even though some items she buys, like low-sodium turkey slices for sandwiches, have been harder to come by this year.
When did the Thanksgiving Day NFL tradition start? Lions, Bears, Cowboys history and games .
Every year, on Thanksgiving Day, three NFL match-ups take place filled with big action and division rivalries, and this year is no different. First, the Chicago Bears head to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions in Michigan (12:30 p.m. ET) followed by a matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium (4:30 p.m. ET). Then at 8:20 p.m., the Buffalo Bills will battle it out with the New Orleans Saints in a special Thanksgiving edition of Sunday Night Football on NBC. Live coverage of that game begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America and will also be available via live stream on Peacock.