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Turkey prices expected to skyrocket this Thanksgiving

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 23:10:13-04

It’s almost that time of the year when families will be shopping for their Thanksgiving staples.

This year, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinners - the turkey - will reach record-breaking prices this holiday season. That’s just adding to the overall retail food price increase shoppers have been experiencing.

“This past month or so I’ve noticed things are more expensive," said San Luis Obispo resident Sheree Brekke.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics shows food at home saw a 13% increase from September 2021 to September 2022.

“We can expect Thanksgiving dinner is going to be more expensive," said Daniel Seiver, a professor in Cal Poly's Department of Economics.

That's mainly because of the dinner favorite, turkey.

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced the high prices are due to inflation but also because of the impact of the bird flu.

“Turkey prices can easily be twice as high as last year and that’s a key part of what everybody spends on - on a turkey dinner," Seiver said.

The retail price for fresh, boneless, skinless turkey breast reached a record high of $6.70 per pound in September, 112% higher than the same time in 2021 when prices were $3.16 per pound.

“I’ve always made a turkey, although I don’t eat meat. My kids are young and they like it. This year, maybe I won’t do it," Brekke said.

Despite higher prices and the influenza outbreak impacting birds, the American Farm Bureau said there should be enough turkeys available for Thanksgiving demand.