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Thanksgiving meal in Virginia estimated at nearly $75; up 16% from last year

(© Joshua Resnick –

In a year when inflation has driven up the prices of nearly every consumer good, the price of a Thanksgiving meal is also on the rise. According to an informal survey conducted by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 10 adults is $73.91, or $7.39 per person.

The survey menu consists of turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, rolls, carrots, celery, cranberries, green beans, peas, milk, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. A meal without ham, Russian potatoes and green beans costs $57.63, or $5.76 per person.

This year, the statewide average is up $10.25, or 16.1%, from the 2021 average of $63.66 for a meal for 10 people.

The survey data was relatively consistent with current Consumer Price Index trends, which reveal that shoppers are seeing a 12.4% increase in the cost of food purchases from home over the same period. last year.

“Virginia farmers continue to work diligently throughout the year to put food on our tables, which is no small feat considering the challenges they have faced over the past few years” , said Elijah Griles, product specialist VFBF.

“Most of us don’t think of farmers when we’re at the grocery store, but farmers are also feeling the effects of rising costs at home,” he said. “This year, like every year, the farmers of Virginia truly deserve our thanks for honoring their commitment to producing safe and reliable food for Virginia, the United States and the rest of the world.”

Prices reported by volunteer shoppers statewide do not reflect discounts on promotional sales or coupons, and survey data was collected before most major sales took place. This is the 19th year that Virginia Farm Bureau has conducted the survey, which is based on an annual survey organized by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Volunteer shoppers checked prices online and in person at 28 grocery stores across the state.

The VFBF survey showed that the average cost of a 16-pound turkey was $28.09, or $1.76 per pound. This represents a 12.1% increase in price from the 2021 average of $1.57 per pound.

Average prices reported by Farm Bureau:

  • The 4 pound ham with bone was $10.24
  • a gallon of whole milk was $3.67
  • frozen peas, $1.60
  • frozen green beans, $1.67
  • three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.12
  • a 5-pound bag of Russet potatoes, $4.37
  • fresh celery, $1.81
  • fresh carrots, $1.06
  • two pie shells, $3.33
  • whipped cream, $2.26
  • canned pumpkin pie filling, $3.68
  • fresh cranberries, $2.28
  • stuffing mix, $3.13
  • a dozen rolls, $3.62.

All items were up in price from 2021 values, except for cranberries, which were 2 cents cheaper this year.

Turkey prices rose 21% nationally to $28.96 for a 16-pound bird, or $1.81 per pound, about 4% higher than prices recorded in Virginia.

Overall, the item with the biggest price increase was the 14-ounce bag of Cubed Stuffing Mix, which jumped from $2.29 in 2021 to $3.88 this year, a jump by 69%.

The locality with the highest average cost for a traditional Thanksgiving meal was Henrico County at $90.51. The locality with the lowest average cost was Carroll County at $55.79 for a meal for 10 people.

With costs rising so sharply this year, farm organizations such as AFBF and VFBF recognize that the average price of a traditional Thanksgiving meal can be prohibitively expensive for some families.

“We never want to see anyone struggling to afford meals, let alone during the holiday season,” VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor said. “As we come together to celebrate Virginia’s agricultural bounty this Thanksgiving, let’s not forget our neighbors in need.

“Farmers are as committed to serving their communities as they are to producing food for a growing global population, and many Virginia growers donate fresh food to their local food banks and other conservation organizations. hungry,” Pryor said. “I hope many other generous Virginians will follow their example.”

Nationally, the American Farm Bureau Federation survey found the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people was $64.05, a 20% increase from $53.31 $ in 2021. The AFBF baseline survey does not include ham, russet potatoes and green beans. With these items included in the AFBF’s findings, the national average cost of a traditional meal was $81.30, or 10% more than the cost in Virginia.

Roger Cryan, AFBF’s chief economist, noted that “general inflation reducing consumers’ purchasing power” has been a major contributor to the rising cost of Thanksgiving dinners.

The AFBF also reported that voluntary shoppers checked prices Oct. 18-31, about two weeks before most grocery chains began offering whole frozen turkeys at significantly lower prices.

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