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Inflation, supply chain issues push Thanksgiving prices up

A thanksgiving turkey.

(Pixabay)

Inflation, higher gas prices and supply chain woes have stolen some cheer early this holiday season, and it’s now threatening your Thanksgiving table.

According to the Farm Bureau’s 2021 Thanksgiving survey, Hoosiers should expect to spend 12 percent more on their Thanksgiving meal.

The survey, which the bureau has conducted since 1986, accounts for enough food to feed 10 people: a turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls and butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk.

This year’s meal will cost about $5.50 per person, or about $53.58, which is on par with national averages. Turkeys will cost Hoosiers about 17 percent more this year, largely because some farmers thinned herds last year during the pandemic.

But the Farm Bureau acknowledges the prices are likely down from when the survey was taken – Oct. 26 to Nov. 8.

“If you're a smart shopper, and you take the time to look around, you can find lower prices than what this survey would indicate,” said Isabella Chism, the second vice president for the Indiana Farm Bureau.

The latest publication of the Consumer Price Index shows overall inflation at its highest since the 1990s. The past year’s jump in grocery prices is the highest in the decade.

At Pantry 279 in Ellettsville, director Cindy Chavez said price hikes made it difficult to find food for this year’s Thanksgiving handout – grocery stores that were once able to provide pallets of food are running low on supply.

“We can't just wander out and buy food,” Chavez said. “Yes, we get a discount. But I mean, they have to make money too. We used to buy a can of food for maybe 20 cents, regularly priced at 60 cents. Now that can is selling for $1.39 and you're paying a discounted price of 90 cents.”

Chavez says the combination of higher prices and the end of pandemic benefits have also cut down on the donations the pantry is getting.

“All that is dried up. People have been using their savings people have been, you know, to pay their bills, they're starting to get worried,” Chavez said.

IU economics professor Kyle Anderson says the recent price hikes are concerning but haven’t yet started impacting consumers’ decisions on a macro level.

“Yes, it will cost a little more, but I don't think we're at the point where the majority of households are going to have to significantly change their behavior,” he said. “But if you're living paycheck to paycheck, that’s always a challenge to see prices going higher.”

Anderson says he expects supply chain issues to be addressed in the next four to six months, which could help with the current inflation spike. But higher prices won’t be going anywhere soon.

 

This post has been updated.

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