With Thanksgiving right around the corner, US Americans are preparing for stuffing—the side dish and themselves. But with inflation ravaging the economy and the threat of recession on the horizon, many are tightening the elastic on their stretchy pants.
Turkeys Can’t Fly, But Costs are Soaring
While inflation in October came in at 7.7%, the CPI shows the cost of many goods far outpacing that number. The prices of many goods central to Thanksgiving dinner have increased so dramatically that 38% of families are planning to purchase smaller turkeys and 36% are planning to have fewer sides, according to a survey from NielsenIQ.
Fourth Thursday staples that have seen the most dramatic YoY price increases include:
- Eggs (+43%)
- Butter (+34%)
- Flour (+25%)
- Potatoes (+15.2%)
Of course, the star of the show is the turkey, which will run 17% – 23% more per pound.
How Are Families Setting the Table for an Affordable Gathering?
While having ham (only 9.1% more expensive YoY) or eating out (only 8.6% more expensive) seem like reasonable substitutes to save money, 86% households surveyed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) said turkey was non-negotiable. Instead, some plan to save by shopping at discount supermarkets, switching to store brands, and using more canned or frozen ingredients over more expensive fresh options.
Over the River and Through the Woods, as Long as Grandma isn’t too Far Away
For many, Thanksgiving 2022 may be the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that they’ve been able to spend the holiday with family and friends. While vaccines were widely available last year, the Omicron and Delta variants of COVID-19 created travel issues including many canceled flights.
While most families would love to host large gatherings around the table to hear Uncle Greg’s questionable political opinions, inflation is also putting a major damper on travel plans. Airfare is up +42.9% YoY, becoming prohibitively expense for many. While car rental prices are actually down -3.5% from their pandemic high, gas prices are +17.1% higher. For these reasons, many won’t be traveling more than 50 miles this year.
Hopefully just one more Zoom Turkey Day to sit through before we can get back to uncomfortable family gatherings where you have to listen to your cousin explain why it isn’t that weird that his girlfriend has the same name as his mom IN PERSON.