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Price of Thanksgiving dinner gobbles up a few cents more

November 09, 2012|By Richard Simon
  • The average cost of the traditional dinner for 10 will be $49.48 this year, up 28 cents from last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The average cost of the traditional dinner for 10 will be $49.48 this year,… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

WASHINGTON — Hungry for a break from today’s economic indigestion?

You’ll be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without paying too much more, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation price survey.

The average cost of the traditional dinner for 10 will be $49.48 this year, up 28 cents from last year, the trade group said Thursday. 

That’s far more appetizing than the $5.73 price increase last year compared with the previous year.

A 16-pound turkey gobbled up the biggest price increase -- $22.23, up about 4 cents per pound or 66 cents for the bird.

"Turkey supplies in cold storage are around 5% to 6% higher than they were a year ago so we’ve had strong production,’’ said John Anderson, the farm bureau’s deputy chief economist.

"Really I think the fact that we’ve seen an increase in price at all comes more from the demand side. Competing meats are relatively more expensive and so that helps turkey demand and we’ve seen a price response." 

Prices dropped for a number of other items: a half pint of whipping cream, $1.83, down 13 cents; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.77, down 11 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.15, down 11 cents; fresh cranberries, $2.45, down 3 cents; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix and two nine-inch pie shells, $5.53, down 2 cents.

The shopping list for the informal survey, conducted by 155 volunteer shoppers in 35 states, includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and ce6lery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk.

Ten years ago, the average price was $34.56. In 1992, it was $26.39. 

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