If you’re throwing Thanksgiving in Kansas, rejoice: there’s nowhere cheaper to buy a turkey and trimmings in 2022.
A new Thanksgiving Meal Dashboard put together by researchers at Purdue University, Kansas is the most affordable state in the union to source the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal this year. A 12-person spread costs an average of $70.89 in the Sunflower State.
Inflation pushed the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 12 people nationwide to $80.06, according to Purdue’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability.
The researchers estimated the prices by visiting online supermarkets across the country. The national average assumes a holiday meal will include a 16-pound turkey, at $33.31; five pounds of potatoes, $9.93; two pounds of green beans, at $7.38; and a gallon of milk, at $4.54, among other expenses. The tab does not include bottles of wine or more extravagant accompaniments.
The outlying states of Hawaii and Alaska rank first for the average price of turkey and trimmings for 12, at $97.07 and $87.57, respectively. The rest of the top 10: South Dakota ($86.06), Nebraska ($85.43), California ($84.57), Oregon ($83.89), Colorado ($83.82), Nevada ( $83.61), New York ($83.45) and Maryland ($83.33).
“It’s the expedition,” said the director of New Sagaya City Market in Anchorage, Alaska, whose name was Mike B. “We ship everything by barge. And fuel costs are up, of course, so shipping costs are up.
The most affordable states for Thanksgiving meals are mostly in the South. A meal for 12 people costs less than $75 on average in Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. Arkansas, Mississippi and Montana round out the bottom 10.
Organic ingredients push meal costs to a national average of $98.89. Vegetarian options bring it down to $64, with tofu replacing turkey.
The new dashboard offers an alternative to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which has been tracking Thanksgiving costs for 37 years. Using slightly different methods and calculations, the Farm Bureau reported that a slightly reduced Thanksgiving meal for 10 will cost $64.05 this yearcompared to $53.31 in 2021.
Turkey prices are up as much as 20% this year, said Jayson Lusk, a Purdue economist who runs the Thanksgiving Dashboard.
“Why are the prices higher this year? ” he wrote on his blog. “One potential answer is avian influenza (or ‘bird flu’).” According to federal data, the disease has slaughtered nearly 8 million turkeys this year.
Is this the most expensive Thanksgiving ever? The quick answer: no. Prices continue to rise, but after adjusting for inflation, Thanksgiving dinner was more expensive in 1980 or 1990 than it is today.
Turkey consumption is down, down about 1 pound per capita (from 16.5 pounds to 15.3 pounds) since 2017, Lusk reports. The demand for meat seems to be falling, maybe because of the pandemic, or maybe because of changing tastes.
“This downward shift in demand, coupled with higher prices, likely means fewer turkeys on the Thanksgiving table this year,” Lusk writes.