This year, finding the turkey you want could be tougher than last year.
And, it’s not only the turkey.
Thanksgiving Meal Prices and Shortages
We can start with a bit of a mystery. Farmers say they are raising the same number of turkeys as last year. For one Minnesota farm, that meant 150,000 birds. Still though, you might not get the turkey you want. Yes, the turkeys exist but supply chain issues like truck driver problems could mean they don’t get where they are supposed to go. In addition, last year people wanted smaller birds. This year, it’s unpredictable. So retailers were not sure what to order.
The Farm Bureau can tell us that, at $1.50 more a pound, this year’s turkey will be close to 24 percent more expensive. Similarly, dinner rolls are up 15 percent and fresh cranberries, 11 percent. And, with a 30 ounce can of pumpkin pie mix up $3.64 and two frozen pie crusts rising 20 percent, dessert too will cost more.
Below, you can see the increases. Only stuffing is down:
But the price pops do not tell the whole story. The second half is about the supply chain crunch. Like turkeys, cranberries, yams and sweet potatoes, refrigerated pies are not a sure thing.
You can see that less cranberry sauce is in stock than last year:
Our Bottom Line: Supply and Demand
Our “Tale of Two Turkeys” is really a story of supply and demand. On the supply side, we have the curve shifting to the left. The reason relates to why supply curves always move. They shift to the left when there is less land, labor, or capital. Now, with Covid creating a supply crunch, we certainly have an impact on production. One turkey producer said that her bags, boxes, feed, transportation, and even her turkeys cost more.
You can see that when supply decreases, there has to be less quantity demanded and price rises.
According to the Farm Bureau, with turkey prices up 24 percent, that is precisely what happened.
My sources and more: Always handy, the Farm Bureau had its annual list of Thanksgiving meal prices and then Consumer Reports had more. Next, it was perfect to have found the shortages in a WSJ article, at Vox, and for one turkey farmer.