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Turkey shortage, rising grocery costs affect this Thanksgiving




(CBS/CNN) — The US Department of Agriculture says turkeys are 23% more expensive than last year. The spread of bird flu has hit some turkey farms and reduced supply.

The average price for a whole frozen turkey is currently $2.45 per pound, up about $0.70 per pound from last year.

This will cause the average Thanksgiving dinner to cost about 14% more than last year.

Inflation drives up the price of groceries so much that it might be cheaper to dine at a restaurant on Thanksgiving in 2022.

Food is still getting more expensive, but at a slower rate than at the start of the year. Egg pricesbutter, flour and some vegetables rose the most, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In October, food was 0.6% more expensive than in September, taking seasonal variations into account.

For the year to October, without seasonal adjustments, food became 10.9% more expensive, with groceries rising 12.4% and restaurant prices jumping 8.6%.

The increases are lower than the records set just a few months ago, but food prices are still outpacing the headline inflation rate, which hit 7.7% for the year.

Thanksgiving dinner costs set to rise this year


The Federal Reserve has tried to rein in inflation by raising interest rates, but that’s doing little for grocery and restaurant prices.

When it comes to food, a number of distant factors are disrupting the supply.

Extreme heat and drought and a deadly bird flu are hurting some crops, while reducing the supply of turkeys and laying hens. Volatility in the grain market caused by the war in Ukraine as well as high energy prices, which have an impact on fertilizer and transport costs, are also driving up food prices.

“These things are always problematic,” said Tom Bailey, principal consumer food analyst at Rabobank.

Issues like these have caused prices to spike across the grocery store.

What gets more expensive and what gets cheaper

In the year to October, eggs became 43% more expensive. Butter increased by 26.7%, the price of flour by 24.6%. Lettuce jumped 17.7%, potatoes 15.2% and poultry 14.9%. Bread, rice and coffee each increased by 14.8%.

A handful of items, however, saw declines this year, particularly in the meat aisle. Uncooked beef steak fell 6.9% and beef and veal prices fell 3.6%.

“We’ve seen a bit of retail price easing for some of the beef products,” Bailey said. This is a sign that they are trying to lure customers into stores, he noted.

Even though prices are falling, buyers are still feeling the pain.

“For the consumer, the share of their wallet spending on food is still much higher than we have been for the past two decades,” Bailey said.

In October, some prices jumped from the previous month.

Eggs saw the biggest increase with a 10.1% jump from September. Charcuterie increased by 3.4%, lettuce by 3.3%, tomatoes by 2.3% and flour by 2%.

But several items have become cheaper. Fresh fruit fell 2.4%. Uncooked roast beef and hot dogs both fell 2.3%, breakfast sausages fell 2% and fresh donuts, buns and coffee cakes fell 1. 9%.