Average Thanksgiving feast less expensive in 2020 despite higher meat prices

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 24, 2020

The average Thanksgiving feast for a family of 10 is expected to cost less in 2020 despite a surge in meat prices. The America Farm Bureau Foundation says that the average feast for 10 will cost $46.90, which is $2.01 less than in 2019.

While other types of meat are more expensive this year, according to USDA data, turkey prices have dropped. A 16-pound turkey is expected to cost $19.39, which is down 7% from a year ago. Conversely, meat prices in general have jumped more than 6% from October 2019 through October 2020.

“The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is the lowest since 2010,” said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton. “Pricing whole turkeys as ‘loss leaders’ to entice shoppers and move product is a strategy we’re seeing retailers use that’s increasingly common the closer we get to the holiday.”

Whipped cream and sweet potatoes have also seen a modest decrease in cost over the last year.

The data was compiled from 230 pricing surveys spread across all 50 states.