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Thanksgiving Groceries Cheaper in Indiana This Year
Indiana Ag Connection - 11/17/2023

As families in Indiana prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, there's good news on the horizon. According to a recent survey by the Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB), Hoosiers can expect to pay notably less for their Thanksgiving groceries compared to last year. This welcome change brings a sigh of relief amidst the challenges of inflation.

The INFB's annual Thanksgiving market basket survey, a benchmark in determining the average cost of popular holiday items, shows that the average expense for a Thanksgiving dinner serving 10 people is now around $54.64. This figure breaks down to an economical $5.46 per person, marking a roughly 10 percent reduction from 2022 prices.

Isabella Chism, INFB's second vice president, highlights this decrease as a rare positive in current economic times. Meanwhile, Todd Davis, INFB's chief economist, points out that the drop in turkey prices is a significant factor. Turkeys, typically making up almost half the cost of Thanksgiving meals, are now priced at about $1.38 per pound – a 21 percent decrease from the previous year. This reduction is primarily attributed to a decrease in avian flu cases and the subsequent recovery of the turkey population, especially in the Midwest.

This year's lower prices come as a relief not only to consumers but also to farmers who have been grappling with increased production costs due to factors like droughts. Despite these challenges, the survey notes that only 14 cents of every retail food dollar can be attributed to farm production, indicating a smaller share for farmers from the total market basket cost.

Looking ahead, both Chism and Davis express optimism. They foresee continual improvements in agricultural techniques and economic conditions that could further reduce production and grocery costs.

The survey's market basket includes items like a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, a veggie tray, milk, cranberries, whipping cream, pumpkin pie ingredients, and various baking items.

Along with turkey, whipped cream and cranberries are also less expensive this year, while pumpkin pie filling and frozen peas saw the highest price increases.

As Hoosiers gear up for Thanksgiving, they can anticipate a more affordable celebration, thanks to these recent developments in agricultural pricing and market trends.

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