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New York Farm Bureau Annual 2021 Thanksgiving Market Basket Price Survey

 

Informal survey reflects a nearly 2% price jump over 2020

New York Farm Bureau’s 2021 Market Basket Survey shows the price of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner saw a modest uptick from last year's meal. The average total price, which includes a 16-pound turkey and other common items found on a holiday dinner table, is $52.59, a 1.7% increase over last year.

Turkey prices are about $1.46 per pound in New York State, which is about five cents per pound over last year’s average price in this informal survey. This price is slightly below the national average of $1.50/lb. As we move closer to Thanksgiving, turkey prices may continue to drop in the stores, reflecting sales in the final days before the holiday.

The New York numbers revealed small price increases in several categories including for whipping cream, Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix, fresh cranberries, and a veggie tray. The most noticeable decrease is for sweet potatoes.

This year’s survey also includes a similar increase for an expanded menu that includes a four-pound ham, five-pound bag of russet potatoes and a package of frozen green beans. When those prices are included, the total meal price jumps to $67.31 or 52 cents over last year’s number. New York shoppers found bargains on hams compared to the national numbers, with a four-pound ham about a dollar less than the national survey price of $10.87.

The survey highlights that the classic meal remains affordable for a 10-person meal, though there are price increases across the board.  This is reflective of some of the supply and demand issues that are driving up food prices in many categories, much of it related to the on-going pandemic and the surge in at-home food consumption. Despite those increases, most of those higher costs do not trickle down to the farmer who receives only about eight cents of each dollar consumers spend on food at the store. The rest goes to pay for things like transportation, processing, packaging and marketing of the food.

This survey is one of the responsibilities of the NYFB State Promotion and Education Committee and is part of the national effort with the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF’s 36th annual informal national price survey found the average national cost of this year’s feast is $53.31, or 72 cents more than New York’s number. That is in part attributed to the competitive nature of grocery store markets and perhaps better promotional pricing than in other regions of the country. More information on the national survey can be found at www.fb.org.

“Challenges remain across our food system, but farmers haven’t stopped doing what we do best, growing quality, nutritious food. Market disruptions have affected some prices, but overall, our volunteer shoppers found the traditional dinner did not see as high of price spikes for most items as in other parts of the country. The best plan of attack is to do comparison shopping to find the best deals near you,” said Darleen Krisher-Meehan, chair of New York Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee.

New York Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers sampled prices at 21 different supermarkets throughout the state between October 31 and November 8 trying to get the best prices available, but they did not use promotional coupons or special deals such as “buy one-get one free.”  They were also encouraged to use online shopping. The shopping list includes 15 common Thanksgiving food items ranging from turkey and rolls to stuffing and celery to pumpkin pie mix, enough to feed 10 people around the dinner table. An average for miscellaneous ingredients, like flour and butter, is also included.

The best advice for shoppers is to compare prices to save money look for store brands and stick to a planned list.  The numbers below reflect the overall average of the volunteer shoppers and is not meant to be a true scientific survey, but rather a snapshot of what shoppers may find leading up to the holiday.

 

Market Basket Survey Comparison

2021 Average Price

2020 Average Price

Frozen, Self-Basting Turkey 16 lb.

$23.28

$22.56

Herb-seasoned cube stuffing 14oz.

$2.29

$2.84

Enriched Brown & Serve Rolls 12 oz./12 per pkg.

$3.05

$3.09

Gallon of Whole Milk

$3.42

$3.40

Frozen Green Peas 16oz. pkg.

$1.34

$1.34

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix 30oz. can

$3.69

$3.38

9 in. frozen pie shell

$2.89

$2.75

Whipping Cream ½ pint carton

$2.00

$1.77

Carrot/Celery Veggie Tray

$.99

$.87

Sweet Potatoes 3 lb.

$3.19

$3.72

Package of Fresh Cranberries

$3.00

$2.90

Miscellaneous Ingredients

$3.45

$3.09

Classic Thanksgiving Total

$52.59

$51.71

 

 

 

Half Bone-in Ham, 4 lbs.

$9.89

$10.52

Russet Potatoes, 5 lb. bag

$3.35

$3.28

Frozen Green Beans, 16 oz. pkg

$1.48

$1.28

Expanded Dinner Total Price

$67.31

$66.79

 

 

Farm Bureau does not make any statistical claims about the survey data, but it is a useful gauge of price trends across New York and the country for shoppers who look to compare prices.