Farm Bureau study: Cost of Thanksgiving meal falls

Nebraskans who plan on making the traditional Thanksgiving dinner next week might end up spending less money at the grocery store than last year. Dave Miller, research director at the Farm Bureau, says their annual price check of 12 items used to make the turkey day dinner saw a four-percent drop from last Thanksgiving.
He says the cost of the “marketbasket” was 42-dollars and 91-cents, a drop of one-dollar and 70-cents compared to a year ago. That’s the biggest drop in price from year-to-year since 1991.
Miller says the cost of the centerpiece of the meal saw the biggest fall. Miller says the turkey was a significant part of the decline and other whole food products, like milk and butter, also declined. He says processed food items did not go down as much. Miller says a gallon of whole milk is down 92-cents since last year, and a 16-pound turkey is 44-cents cheaper.
Miller says this drop in the Thanksgiving marketbasket goes against the recent trend. Miller says prices have been going up in the last decade, in general, he says food inflation has been going up less than the economy as a whole. He says last year saw a higher-than-normal price increase in the marketbasket. The meal increased by two-dollars and 35-cents last year over 2007. The only other drop in price in the survey this decade came in 2004.
Overall this decade, the cost of the dinner has gone up by 10-dollars and 54-cents. Miller says the drop in price this year illustrates the tough times many farm producers are facing. He says milk is exhibiting one of the largest declines, as it is down about 50-percent at the farm level and down 25-percent in price at the store level. Miller says turkey is down about 10-percent at the farm and down four to five-percent at the retail level.
The other items in the survey are bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk for 10 people. The cost averages out to four-dollars and 29-cents for each person.
Miller says Americans can be thankful for continued production of affordable and wholesome food. For more information on the survey visit the Farm Bureau website at: www.fb.org