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Indiana Farm Bureau survey finds Thanksgiving meal costs higher than last year

By Samantha Horton, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Economy
Turkeys for sale at a Meijer in Lafayette. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Hoosiers can expect to pay more for this year’s Thanksgiving meal. The Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual Thanksgiving market basket survey reflects the effects inflation and supply chain issues are having on food.

The survey found the per-person cost of a Thanksgiving meal for a group of 10 people was about $0.50 more than last year.

The price is comparable to the national average this year of $5.33 per person.

The survey reported the price for a 16-pound turkey rose almost $4 in Indiana.

Isabella Chism is the Indiana Farm Bureau’s second vice president. She said shoppers shouldn’t be disheartened by the increased costs in the survey.

“When this market basket survey is taken, it’s taken in late-October, early-November. We don’t allow the participants to use coupons or sales,” said Chism. “So we’re looking for core prices. So those are going to be, in essence, almost the highest prices for these items, at the time.”

Chism said she’s found lower prices while at the store including turkeys at $0.89 per pound compared to the survey which reported a whole turkey costs $1.58 per pound.

While inflation and ongoing supply chain issues are causing higher food prices, farmers are making less than what they have in the past.

As both a consumer and farmer, Chism said farmers used to get $0.17 out of every dollar spent on food.

“We’re now getting 8 cents of that food dollar that we spend at the grocery store,” she said. “So the rest of that 92 cents of that food dollar is going to other places – whether it’s packaging, transportation, fuel costs, all of that. It’s going to all those other places. So that has changed tremendously.”

Chism said turkey farmers faced an additional challenge this year. They had to decide how many turkeys to raise back in June, at a time when the pandemic created uncertain demand.

Indiana ranks fourth in the country for turkey production.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.