AFBF 2016 Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey

Dan Industry News Release

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The average cost for 10 for a classic Thanksgiving Dinner decreased less than 1 percent, coming in at $49.87. Decreases in the average price for turkey, pumpkin pie mix, milk and a veggie tray comprised of celery and carrots are the main drivers behind the modest decrease.

thanksgiving-turkey-dinnerBreakdown of the 2016 AFBF Thanksgiving Dinner Survey:

  • Our survey found that the price for traditional Thanksgiving menu items including turkey, bread stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings, decreased by less than 1 percent this year and remains affordable at just under $50 for 10 people.
  • The average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.87. That is a 24-cent or less than 1 percent price decrease from 2015. (The cost last year, 2015, was $50.11.)
  • The average cost of turkey this year is $22.74 for the whole bird or $1.42 per pound. This is a decrease of 30 cents per whole bird or 2 cents per pound.
  • In addition to lower-cost turkey, this year’s survey revealed price relief for consumers for pumpkin pie mix, milk, a veggie tray and miscellaneous items needed to make the meal.
  • The survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray of celery and carrots, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk, in quantities sufficient to serve 10 people.
  • Turkey production is up about 8 percent this year, rebounding from the 2015 Avian flu crises in the Midwest. There is more than enough turkey to go around for holiday meals, as farmers have fully recovered their flocks.
  • Turkeys have already been featured aggressively this year by retail grocers and the trend will likely continue the rest of the year.thanksgiving graphic_1
  • Rolls increased the most overall, by 9 percent or 21 cents from last year.
  • Other items showing modest increases included pie shells, 5 percent or 12 cents; peas, 4 percent or 6 cents; cranberries, 4 percent or 10 cents; whipping cream, 3 percent or 6 cents; cubed bread stuffing, 2 percent or 6 cents; and fresh sweet potatoes, 1 percent or 3 cents.
  • Miscellaneous items used to make the meal decreased the most overall…37 cents from last year. Turkey showed the second-greatest price decrease, dropping 30 cents for a whole bird compared to last year.
  • Pumpkin prices are slightly lower following the production decline and higher prices experienced in 2015.
  • The survey tracks price trends for classic Thanksgiving menu items. We’re fortunate to live here in America, where many people are able to enhance the meal with another type of meat, additional side dishes or desserts and so on.
  • This is the 31st annual informal survey of classic food items typically found on the Thanksgiving Day table.
  • Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best prices on the survey items, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spend $50 and get a free turkey.
  • Farm Bureau does not make any statistical claims about the survey data, but it is a useful gauge of price trends around the nation.
  • This year’s actual cost of $49.87 is $20.66 in inflation-adjusted (1982-1984) dollars.
  • The stable average price reported this year by Farm Bureau for a classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the government’s Consumer Price Index for food eaten at home. The most recent Consumer Price Index report for food at home showed just over a 2-percent decline over the past year.thanksgiving-celebration-traditional-dinner-setting-food-concept
  • 148 volunteer shoppers in 40 states participated in the survey (every region represented).
  • American farmers and ranchers provide abundant and affordable food products throughout the year.
  • Farmers and ranchers remain concerned about hunger in America. Many of our young farmers and ranchers in particular are involved in organizations such as Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), which secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
Item 2015




16-pound turkey 23.04 22.74 -.30
Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz. 3.20 3.13 -.07
Milk, 1 gallon whole 3.25 3.17 -.08
1-pound veggie tray (carrots and celery) .79 .73 -.06
Misc. ingredients 3.18 2.81 -.37
Rolls, 12 2.25 2.46 +.21
Pie shells (2) 2.47 2.59 +.12
Green peas, 1 lb. 1.52 1.58 +.06
Fresh cranberries, 12 oz. 2.29 2.39 +.10
Whipping cream, ½ pint 1.94 2.00 +.06
Cubed stuffing, 14 oz. 2.61 2.67 +.06
Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs. 3.57 3.60 +.03
TOTAL 50.11 49.87 -.24


Year Average
1986 $28.74
1987 $24.51
1988 $26.61
1989 $24.70
1990 $28.85
1991 $25.95
1992 $26.39
1993 $27.49
1994 $28.40
1995 $29.64
1996 $31.66
1997 $31.75
1998 $33.09
1999 $33.83
2000 $32.37
2001 $35.04
2002 $34.56
2003 $36.28
2004 $35.68
2005 $36.78
2006 $38.10
2007 $42.26
2008 $44.61
2009 $42.91
2010 $43.47
2011 $49.20
2012 $49.48
2013 $49.04
2014 $49.41
2015 $50.11
2016 $49.87

Meet a Turkey Farmer: Darrell Glaser of Texas

Video courtesy of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance

Secrets of the Cranberry Harvest

Video courtesy of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.

Take a unique look at Ocean Spray grower-owner Gary Garretson’s cranberry bog in South Carver, Massachusetts from a bird’s-eye view. Learn more about the cranberry harvest by visiting