Thanksgiving Food Prices Rise As Supply Chain Costs Rise

Thanksgiving 2021 could be the most expensive meal in the history of the holiday. Caroline Hoffman is already hiding canned pumpkin in ...


Thanksgiving 2021 could be the most expensive meal in the history of the holiday.

Caroline Hoffman is already hiding canned pumpkin in the kitchen of her Chicago apartment when she finds it for less than a dollar. She recently spent almost $ 2 more on the vanilla she will need for cooking. pumpkin bread and other desserts for various Friends celebrations to which she was invited.

Matthew McClure paid 20% more this month than last year for the 25 pasture-raised turkeys he plans to roast at The Beehive, the Bentonville, Ark., restaurant where he is the executive chef. And Norman Brown, Sweet Potato Sales Manager for Wadas Farms in Raleigh, North Carolina, pays truckers nearly twice as much as usual to transport the crop to other parts of the country.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been growing sweet potatoes for 38 or 39 years,” Brown said. “I don’t know what the answer is, but in the end, everything will be passed on to the consumer. “

Almost every component of traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, from disposable aluminum turkey roaster coffee and pie, will cost more this year, according to agricultural economists, farmers and grocery store managers. Major food companies like Nestlé and Procter & Gamble have already warned consumers to prepare for more price increases.

Granted, last year the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people was the lowest since 2010, according to the American Farm Bureau, whose annual survey of big dinners will be published on November 18. But due to the pandemic, fewer people have bought for large gatherings and turkey prices have been kept low to attract buyers. This year, turkey prices are expected to hit record highs and the cost of many foods has risen sharply.

There is no single culprit. The country’s food supply has been challenged by a knotted supply chain, high transport costs, labor shortages, trade policies and bad weather. Inflation is also at stake. In September, the Consumer price index for food was up 4.6 percent from a year ago. Meat prices, poultry, fish and eggs climbed 10.5 percent.

Weeks before the holiday feast, home cooks started shopping, hoping to stay ahead of shortages and fluctuating prices. “I imagine a perfect storm of increased demand and lack of supply,” said Matt Lardie, a food writer in Durham, North Carolina, who has already laid out his Thanksgiving game plan and expects to have some components in the freezer by next week.

For many cooks, the biggest expense will be the turkey. By the end of the year, according to market analysts, prices per pound will likely be break the record Department of Agriculture benchmark price for turkeys – $ 1.36, set in 2015.

Turkey is more expensive largely because the price of corn, which most commercial turkeys eat, more than doubled in parts of the country from July 2020 to July 2021. Whole birds frozen between eight and 16 pounds already cost 25 cents a pound more than a year ago, according to the weekly Department of Agriculture Turkey Report released on Friday.

Price hikes hit in a year when Covid vaccines and relaxed health guidelines indicate more and larger holiday celebrations than in 2020. There will be fewer turkeys in the market, but demand is expected to be higher, especially for small birds and for more carefully reared and processed turkeys.

Kroger Executives Are More Anticipating What Marketers Call the “”premiumization”Of Thanksgiving ingredients, with many cooks buying turkeys that are fresh, organic, free-range, or processed to raise them beyond an inexpensive frozen bird.

“Customers don’t necessarily go to restaurants, so they’re upping their game in terms of products,” said Stuart Aitken, the company’s chief merchant.

Still, many households will seek out cheap turkeys and try to stretch their food budget.

“I can believe it will be the most expensive Thanksgiving ever, but there is a story of income inequality here that matters a lot,” said Trey Malone, agricultural economist at Michigan State University. “The rich are going to spend more on Thanksgiving than they’ve ever spent before, but not everyone will be able to.”

Packaged buns will be more expensive because the cost of almost all of the ingredients used by commercial bakers has gone up. Canned cranberry sauce will cost more because domestic steelworks have yet to catch up after pandemic shutdowns, and China is limit steel production to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, steel prices have remained over 200% higher than they were before the pandemic.

The higher price of this California pinot noir suitable for turkey reflects a percentage of 25% soaring energy costs, costly delays linked to labor shortages and the cost of glass bottles stuck on cargo ships from China. The average end-to-end shipping time from China to the United States was 73 days in September, up from 40 days two years earlier, said Catherine Russ, professor of economics at the University of California at Davis. And shipping costs, she said, have tripled.

“Not all of these dynamics are theoretical,” said Dr Russ. “We cannot lose sight of how these larger issues affect the home. “

The extreme weather conditions also made Thanksgiving ingredients cost more. A late spring drought in the Midwest damaged the sugar beet crop, which was previously affected by frost in 2019. Hurricane Ida close sugar cane refineries in the south. California’s grape, nut and citrus crops have suffered from this year’s drought. Brazil, which supplies the world with more Coffee than any other country, suffered a severe drought and then a surprise frost in July, less coffee and higher prices.

Even the basic materials – like wooden pallets and cardboard containers – that farmers need to get their crops from the field to distributors are either hard to find or much more expensive.

“Whatever you order, you either can’t get it, or you shake your head and wonder, ‘How much? ”Said Jim Kent, owner of the 100-acre land. Locust Grove Fruit Farm in Milton, New York

Although grocery store executives predict one-time shortages on some items, economists like Dr Russ say there is no indication that the panic buying that was a hallmark of pandemic shopping in 2020 is resurfacing.

That’s not reassuring for some home cooks, who fear they won’t be able to find smaller turkeys, canned pumpkins, or the particular type of stuffing mix they like.

Ms Hoffman, a Chicago resident who works in public relations and food blogs, recently struggled to find cream of tartar and mini marshmallows. “Even finding pumpkin boxes has been honestly difficult,” she said, “as I see them, I pick up a few.”

As food prices continue to rise, she must increase her budget and look for bargains. It’s not always easy when the holidays call for specific ingredients.

“I dread buying vanilla,” she said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Thanksgiving Food Prices Rise As Supply Chain Costs Rise
Thanksgiving Food Prices Rise As Supply Chain Costs Rise
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