cooked turkey

ST. ALBANS — With inflation affecting many products on grocery shelves, Vermonters will be spending more on Thanksgiving dinner.

In 2021, the American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that the cost of a full Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people has climbed 14% to $53.31 when compared to last year.

“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” AFBF senior economist Veronica Nigh said in a release. “These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat.”

The item to see the largest cost increase was the Thanksgiving turkey. The farm bureau priced a 16-pound bird at $23.99, up 24% from last year’s $19.39. Without the turkey, inflation would average out at 6.6%, which aligns close with year-over-year inflation of 6.2%

To gather its information, the farm bureau used pricing data of 12 typical Thanksgiving food items gathered from 218 surveys conducted throughout the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also tracks inflation on multiple grocery store basics, and some of the highest increases over the last two years have been seen in meat prices. For example, the average price for a dozen eggs jumped by 42% from 2019 to 2021, and both bacon and ground beef saw over 20% inflationary increases.

Specific data on the northeast region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) show that some of the price increases have been more dramatic for some foods. A loaf of basic white bread, for example, jumped 50 cents over the last two years in this corner of the country, and a pound of bacon inched up to near $8 after the meat product saw a 36% price increase.

Foods with little to no increase in price include rice, chicken, ice cream, cheddar and ham, according BLS data.

National Average

Oct. 2019

Oct. 2021

% Change

Flour

$0.43

$0.40

-8%

Rice

$0.77

$0.79

2%

Bread, white

$1.33

$1.53

15%

Ground beef

$3.84

$4.72

23%

Bacon

$5.65

$7.32

29%

Chicken

$1.54

$1.52

-1%

Eggs

$1.28

$1.82

42%

Whole milk

$3.12

$3.66

17%

Ice cream

$4.94

$4.95

0%

Coffee

$4.17

$4.80

15%

Gasoline

$2.67

$3.39

27%

Northeast Region

  

Bread, white

$1.20

$1.71

43%

Bacon

$5.82

$7.94

36%

Cheddar

$5.79

$5.92

2%

Ice Cream

$4.56

$4.97

9%

Beef roasts

$5.48

$7.04

28%

Wine

$11.70

$13.35

14%

Ham

$3.36

$3.49

4%

Specific data for Vermont grocery store price increases isn’t readily available, but historically, the state has been known for higher-than-average food prices.

A closer look at grocery expenditures per person conducted by Vermont Public Radio estimated that Vermonters spend over $4,500 per year on their grocery bills, which put the state as the most expensive for groceries out of all 50 states.

With inflation only heightening the Thanksgiving bill, this year is set to push that annual spend only higher.

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