USDA: Thanksgiving dinner will cost Iowans less this year

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Via Radio Iowa

For the second consecutive year, the Thanksgiving feast will cost Iowans less than the year before.

A report finds the average price to feed a family of four a turkey dinner with all the fixings will run a little over $23, which is down $1.87 from last year.

U.S.D.A. livestock analyst Shayle Shagum says the biggest drop is in the price of the main course. Turkey prices are down from Thanksgiving of 2016.  Shagum says turkey producers recovered well from the bird flu outbreak a few years ago, however: “It would seem to some extent that the demand has not fully recovered,” Shagum says. “Frozen, whole turkeys were averaging about 83 cents a pound which is about 29% below a year ago.”

While turkey prices have dropped, the prices for several other traditional items on our tables have gone up.  U.S.D.A. food price analyst Annemarie Kuhns says one popular dish that went up in price is sweet potatoes.  “Per pound, those currently cost on average $1.10,” Kuhns says. “This time last year, they were 88-cents per pound.” Prices are up on green beans and cranberries from a year ago and dairy products are also more expensive, Kuhns says, including milk.  “For all fat contents, on average, will cost you $2.79 this month compared to $2.16 last year,” she says.

The report says the final price for this year’s Thanksgiving meal for four is $23.34.