The American Farm Bureau Federation says this year’s typical Thanksgiving holiday meal for 10 is costing less than last year. It's finding that nationwide averages for the typical meal is less than $5.00 per person. The AFBF has been conducting the annual thanksgiving meal pricing survey since the mid-’80s. The meal dishes have been updated in recent years to reflect some national trends. But overall, the survey is covering pretty much the same classic items year after year.

The farm group says while Thanksgiving may look different this year with state and federal recommendations and orders covering family gatherings due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, the essential items for the holiday meal really don’t change much. The bureau’s 2020 pricing survey shows the holiday meal for 10 people is costing an average of $46.90. That’s down just over $2.00 from last year. And that makes this year’s holiday meal for 10 the least expensive out of the last 10 years.

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The Chief Economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation is Dr. John Newton. He says most retailers this year continued the long-standing tradition of using turkeys as their “loss leader”. In other words, using low turkey prices to lure shoppers to come in the door to complete their holiday meal shopping based around the low turkey pricing. Newton says, “Pricing whole turkeys as ‘loss leaders’ to entice shoppers and move product is a strategy we’re seeing retailers use that’s increasingly common the closer we get to the holiday.” Turkey pricing this year is down to an average of $1.21 per pound. That’s down about 7% from last year and the lowest the national average has been since 2010. The bureau’s shopping list for the informal survey also includes stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, butter, cranberries, a vegetable tray, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, all in sufficient quantities to allow a family or group of 10 to have plenty of leftovers.

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