Thanksgiving Food Prices Rise As Supply Chain Costs Rise

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 as national steel mills 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.

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