It’s been a turkey of a situation for a lot of industries, but the mess is about to really mash a potato as millions head home for Thanksgiving in just a few weeks.
Grocery prices have been on the rise all year due to labor and supply chain issues, but a spike is expected as demand peaks for popular Thanksgiving food items.
From pumpkin pies to dinner rolls, logistical problems mean food producers are paying more for basic packaging on top of the raw materials used for Thanksgiving staples.
“When you go to the grocery store and it feels more expensive, that’s because it is,” said Veronica Nigh, senior economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The cost of turkey, the main course, is up by 27% this year, partly due to higher feed prices.
Barbara Eastman of Chicago’s Happy Foods grocery store said the early bird will definitely get the prize next month. She suggests putting in orders for fresh turkeys now in advance of picking them up next month.
If you plan to buy a frozen turkey, she suggests pouncing as soon as you can.
“Order soon because we don’t know what’s going to come in,” she said on NewsNation’s “The Donlon Report.”
According to the USDA, a 15-pounder will cost $21.50 this year, up by almost $5 over last year’s helping when many gatherings were downsized due to the pandemic.
Eastman said “staple items” such as meat, pasta and bread have all gotten more expensive this year and supply has been inconsistent. Even go-to favorites like wine are being crunched by a shortage of bottles.
“Right now we do have enough wine for the holiday, but, it’s afterwards,” she said.
This also will be the first Thanksgiving since the pandemic began for a lot of families. Tracy Byrnes, a financial advisor with UBS, suggests keeping that in mind when navigating shortages.
“I think the American consumer needs to get very creative and think out of the box. Maybe it’s a potluck, maybe everyone brings things,” she said on “The Donlon Report” on Tuesday. “Maybe you skip the turkey this year in lieu of (appreciating) the fact that you’re all together.”
As for holiday gift-giving, the Southern California ports, in an effort to ease congestion and deliver goods, just announced fines for shipping companies that fail to move containers out in a timely manner.
Hasbro alone has predicted a $100 million hit due to delayed toy orders.
And that’s just not gravy.