If you’ve ever been tempted to abandon your elaborate Thanksgiving plans and just cook a frozen pizza, this might be a good year to do it. As with virtually everything else on the consumer market, turkeys are set for a sharp price increase this year.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the average wholesale cost of a turkey weighing between 8 and 16 pounds is 13 percent more than at the same time last year. The USDA’s Turkey Market News Report (yes, this exists) revealed last week that birds are up to $1.41 per pound over $1.15 in 2020. (The record for a costly bird is $1.36 per pound, set back in 2015.)
Disgruntled celebrants can blame everything from labor shortages to supply chain issues to more people cooking at home during the pandemic, creating a larger demand for meats. Even the corn turkeys eat has more than doubled in price.
Supply issues and inflation are also hitting side dishes. Pie crusts, cranberry sauce, and canned pumpkin are being rationed by some distributors, with stores like Pete’s Fresh Market in the Chicago area not getting as much product as they ordered. Trader Joe’s also admitted to the Tribune that shortages may be a “possibility.”
Be careful about relying on things that don’t seem as popular. Canned ham, for example, may not be as readily available—not because people are grabbing them, but because manufacturers may cut production on goods that aren’t as highly in demand.
Should you hoard mashed potatoes like some people stockpile toilet paper? It’s probably not necessary. But market experts are suggesting you don’t wait until the last minute to shop for your Thanksgiving necessities, either. Come Thanksgiving eve, you might find options to be pretty sparse.
[h/t Food & Wine]