The rising cost of Thanksgiving-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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Published November 21, 2022

Issues such as inflation, supply disruptions, and bad weather have pushed up the price of just about everything, including Thanksgiving.

Overall, ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal will cost shoppers 13.5% more this year than last year, market research firm IRI predicted earlier this month using data from October.

Some of these items are even more expensive individually, especially the star of the show, with prices in Turkey up 24.4% year-over-year in the week ending November 6.

At the same time, fresh potatoes cost 19.9% ​​more, cranberry sauce – 18.1%, and salads and leafy greens – 8.7% more expensive. Eggs and butter (including margarine or spreads) — key ingredients for desserts and side dishes — jumped 74.7% and 38.5%, respectively.

“We had some thorny challenges in 2022, but they are based on the challenges we have been facing over the past couple of years,” said Rob Fox, director of knowledge sharing at CoBank.

That’s why every item on your Thanksgiving plate is more expensive this year.

Turkey

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, a deadly contagious disease that is decimating poultry flocks this year, has hit turkey supplies particularly hard.

“This has been a very challenging year for turkey growers across the country,” said Beth Breeding, spokesperson for the National Turkey Federation.

“We have lost about 8 million turkeys to date,” she said, “just over 3% of our expected annual turkey production.”

A glitch doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of turkeys, because growers start planning Thanksgiving a year before the holiday, which gives them time to plan — even for a crisis like bird flu, she noted.

Breeding hopes the situation will stabilize and said the industry is working with the Department of Agriculture to better understand the flu and how to prevent it. But it is not yet clear when the virus will dry up.

In 2015, the bird flu outbreak was under control by June, Breeding said. But “we haven’t seen the same pattern this year,” she said. “We did have a lull in cases, June, July and some of the hotter summer months, but we saw cases come back in August, all the way through the fall.”

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Potato

Bad weather has choked potato supplies, said Courtney Burger Schmidt, a sector manager on the Wells Fargo food and agribusiness advisory group.

“This has been a really tough year for the U.S. crop,” Schmidt said. “That’s what happened to your potatoes.”

For potatoes, “it rained at the wrong time, or you didn’t have enough rain,” she said. “So you’re seeing another short crop this year.”

The Wells Fargo report, co-authored with Schmidt, explains that in the northwest region of the country, a cool spring that delayed the potato harvest was followed by a heat wave. “Such an environment slows down the growth of potato plants”, the report says

. “Potatoes in the ground are losing size and yield.”

You can store fresh potatoes all year round. But last year’s crop was also small due to hot, dry weather in Idaho, explains Almujanad Melhim, a fruit and vegetable analyst at Rabobank. “We started this year with very low inventories,” he said. The reduction in supply led to an increase in prices.

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry crops are also smaller this year, but the headwind is less noticeable.

The crop in Wisconsin was “lower than expected,” said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association, which produces most of the country’s cranberry crop.

Reason for the reduction in supply? “We’re scratching our heads,” Lochner said and is working with experts to figure out the cause. At the moment, his best bet is to switch from cold to hot and cool weather.

“It affected the size of the fetus,” he said. “That’s probably why we came up a little lower than we expected.”

But this year is still better than last year, when the cranberry harvest was even smaller due to bad weather. “We still recovered compared to last year,” he said, adding that there should not be a shortage of cranberries this year.

IRI data shows that fresh cranberries are actually cheaper this year than they were last year, down 9.9%.

But this does not apply to ready-made cranberry sauces, which have risen in price.

Lochner pointed out that processors are setting these prices and that they are seeing higher non-berry production costs, such as “processing fruit and getting it to market.”

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Salad

Romaine lettuce and green leaf lettuce have suffered from crop diseases.

California, where the majority of the nation’s lettuce is grown, has seen “high levels of viral infection that has impacted crops quite a bit in some fields,” Melhim said. “This resulted in really low supply and low quality lettuce.”

The problem is particularly acute now, he said, due to the normal seasonal transition from crops in California to Arizona.

“You are on the verge of the start of a new season [in Arizona] after the one in California fades away,” he said. Even under normal circumstances, this interim period limits supply.

The spread of the disease in California plus this transition, he said, “became the perfect recipe for really historically high prices.”

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pie

Whatever one may say, this year the cake will be more expensive, as many problems affect the key ingredients.

Butter has risen in price due to the reduction in milk supplies.

There is less milk [from] global perspective” than expected, said Cobank’s Fox. “You have less milk, you have less global butter supply.”

As milk stocks dwindle, dairy producers have less work to do, increasing competition between butter, cheese and liquid milk processors. Consumer interest in milk and cheese outstripped demand for butter, pushing up prices. report from CoBank.

Some pie recipes call for eggs or an egg mix. Consumers won’t see relief either: Bird flu has hit laying hens along with turkeys, sending egg prices skyrocketing.

According to Schmidt, the laying hens “were affected very badly.” “I think at the peak we lost 9% of our laying flock.” Other non-perishable products, such as flour, are also more expensive. Even frozen pies and confectionery were up 23.6%, while whipped dairy products were up 23%.

On a positive note, sweet potatoes and yams went up just 2.6% at the grocery store.

“Sweet potatoes are probably one of your best values ​​right now,” Wells Fargo’s Schmidt said. “You’ve probably seen this crop get a little better…so maybe sweet potatoes are what you’ll want to use this year.”