By Terri Jo Neff |
Anyone who bought Halloween candy likely noticed the higher prices and fewer sales. Yet it appears to be just a prelude of things to come heading into Thanksgiving.
Avian flu outbreaks across the country have led to the slaughter of more than 7 million turkeys, resulting in a shortage that has prompted souring supply and demand pricing (up 70 percent per pound from last year) that has been further worsened by inflation.
Turkeys are not the only Thanksgiving staple subject to significantly higher prices this year.
Baking pumpkins are also much more expensive, up 24 percent from last year’s holiday season. And anyone who buys butter or margarine—a must-have for those potatoes and rolls—knows the shortage of sunflower oil (due to the war in Ukraine) and canola oil (due to droughts in Canada) have seen prices creep up all summer along with milk costs.
Add all of that to the recent inflation report which shows most other foods have gone up 15 to 20 percent, and it equals a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner that is going to be costly this year.
Meanwhile, grocery stores and restaurants which typically sell take-home Thanksgiving dinner packages are advising customers to order early, as quantities are limited.
And those trying to escape the higher grocery prices—and cooking time—by dining out won’t see much relief, according to the National Restaurant Association. Restaurants are seeing the same price squeezes, which when added to higher labor costs will translate to higher prices on the menu.
The higher prices for Thanksgiving staples is also expected to squeeze nonprofits across Arizona who count on food donations to provide thousands of free meals to the homeless and low-income families.