New York Farm Bureau Releases 2018 Thanksgiving Market Basket Survey

The 2018 Market Basket Survey reveals a nearly 22% price increase for the average Thanksgiving Day dinner over last year's meal.  The average total price this year, which includes a 16-pound turkey, is $54.53. This is a $9.79 increase over last year’s survey of $44.74, much of that attributed to higher turkey prices.    

Turkey prices are about $1.86 per pound in New York State, up 28% on average in this informal survey compared to 2017. Prices found by shoppers in the survey ranged from $1.48/lb. to $2.49/lb. This price increase is steeper than the national numbers which saw wholesale turkey prices remain stable over last year’s number, coming in at $1.36/lb. The higher price may be attributed to the timing of New York’s survey compared to those in other states. As we moved closer to Thanksgiving, turkey prices have been dropping, reflecting the large supply of turkeys in the country.

The New York numbers did show price decreases from the previous year in other categories including for a gallon of milk, fresh carrots, cranberries and Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix. We have seen a rebound in pumpkin supply following a low three years ago. In addition, milk prices have remained low throughout 2018, part of a four year down cycle.

New to this year’s survey was the average price for a four-pound ham, five-pound bag of russet potatoes and a package of frozen green beans. This reflects more diversity in traditional Thanksgiving meals and will be included going forward in the annual New York Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey.

Despite the overall price increase in this year’s survey, the meal remains affordable with a price point of little more than five dollars per person for a 10-person meal. The affordability of a classic Thanksgiving meal demonstrates that although farmers and ranchers are struggling with challenging commodity prices, consumers ultimately benefit from lower retail prices.

“While we saw an uptick in price for this year’s informal survey, it still reflects an affordable dinner for families to enjoy this holiday. Food remains reasonably priced in this country, in large part, due to the efficiency and hard work of our farmers. We should all give thanks to the men and women in New York who give their all to put food on our Thanksgiving tables,” said Phyllis Couture, Chair of New York Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee.

New York Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers sampled prices in different regions of the state trying to get the best prices available, but they do not use promotional coupons or special deals such as “buy one-get one free.”  The shopping list includes 15 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. The 2018 Thanksgiving survey displayed considerable price variation across the state as well as within districts.  No district had the highest or lowest in every category.  The best advice is to compare prices to save money.  The numbers below reflect the overall average of the volunteer shoppers.

 

Market Basket Survey Comparison

2017 Average Price

2018 Average Price

Frozen, Self-Basting Turkey 16 lb.

$21.36

$29.68

Herb-seasoned cube stuffing 14oz.

$2.50

$3.02

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

$3.28

$3.26

Gallon of Whole Milk

$2.86

$2.54

Frozen Green Peas 16oz. pkg.

$1.00

$1.40

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix 30oz. can

$2.94

$2.48

9 in. frozen pie shell

$2.18

$3.37

Whipping Cream ½ pint carton

$2.02

$2.18

Fresh Carrots per pound

$1.13

$.98

One Bunch of Celery

$1.59

$1.84

Sweet Potatoes per pound

$0.96

$1.12

Package of Fresh Cranberries

$2.92

$2.66

Total Price

$44.74

$54.53

 

 

 

Half Bone-in Ham, 4 lbs.

No Data

$10.82

Russet Potatoes, 5 lb. bag

No Data

$3.30

Frozen Green Beans, 16 oz. pkg

No Data

$1.35

 

This survey is one of the responsibilities of the NYFB State Promotion and Education Committee which also participates in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Quarterly Market Basket Survey. AFBF’s 33rd annual informal national price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average national cost of this year’s feast for 10 people is $48.90, a less than one-percent decrease from last year’s national average. The AFBF survey also factors in a different celery and carrot crudité price and $3.01 of miscellaneous ingredients used in the meal’s preparation that are not included in New York’s informal survey. More information on the national survey can be found at www.fb.org.

 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.

 

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