The cost of Thanksgiving turkey has spiked by 50 percent this year due to inflation and an avian flu outbreak, as the cost of the average the holiday meal rises by 12 percent.
Last year, Americans forked over an average of $53.31 on a holiday dinner for ten, but rampant inflation has this year’s estimated cost set for $67.78.
While the increase comes as the price of stuffing, gravy, green beans, pumpkin pie and all the usual Thanksgiving treats soar, the biggest jump comes in the cost of the turkey.
A typical turkey now fetches about $31.84, according to the USDA’s latest retail report pricing the poultry at $1.99 a pound.
That’s up from $1.15 a pound last year, as the price is conflated not just by inflation, but by a wave of avian flu and supply chain shortages.
Americans are poised to spend 12 percent more on Thanksgiving meals than last year as the price of turkey jumped to $1.99 per pound
Headline inflation rose 8.2% in September from a year ago, another slight decline from the recent 40-year high reached in June
The more than $14 spike mimics the previous years’ rise as the price for the average meal was only $46.90 in 2020.
A contagious strain of avian flu carried by migrating birds have killed about 7.3 million turkeys so far this year, or 3.6 percent of the US supply, Watt Global Media, which monitors the poultry business, reports.
Although avian flu typically peaks in the spring, but the current strain, known as highly pathogenic avian influence, has remained active in 42 states.
The virus has brought new burdens to the already struggling turkey market that has contended with increasing operating costs and supply shortages.
Turkey supplies began depleting in 2019 after prices crashed, and supply has remained relatively low during the pandemic as American’s cut back on holiday festivities as part of COVID lockdown mandates.
Greg Gunthorp, an Indiana farmer, warned American’s to buy turkeys sooner rather than later as he said he’s produced about 4,000 frozen birds instead of his usual 7.000 fresh ones.
‘I’ve never seen anything as crazy as the turkey market right now,’ he told the New York Times. ‘I tell people if they are not going to buy one of our turkeys, if they see one in the store they better pick it up and put it in the freezer.’
Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain said his company, which sells more Thanksgiving turkey’s than any one else, has been sparred the brunt of the avian flu, which hit less than 1 percent of its stock.
Jandrain said that while American’s may be forced to make serious decisions while holiday shopping this year, but added that they’ll never pass up on the turkey regardless of price, even if it means buying a smaller size.
‘They are not looking to compromise on the turkey,’ Jandrain told the Times. ‘That is quite literally the centerpiece of the meal.’
General goods have experienced rising prices, including an 18 percent jump in gasoline prices
Jandrain said compromises can be made elsewhere as the price of all the popular Thanksgiving foods has gone up as well.
The average price of stuffing has jumped from $2.29 last year to $3.99 this year, and the cost of sweet potato rose to $3.97, up from $3.56 in 2021.
While cranberry sauce only rose by 1 cent from $2.98 last year, the average cost of crazy has soared to $1.46, up from only $0.84 last year.
The average cost of green beans is up to $0.88, and pumpkin pie mix is now at $4.79.
The increasing prices come as the US contends with persistently high inflation, which remains at 8.2 percent after hitting a 41-year record high in June.
Inflation remains at the top of most American’s worries as voters not only prep for the holiday, but also for the midterm elections.
With just three weeks left until the midterms, 90 percent of Americans expressed concern about the state of the U.S. economy – and 80 percent say inflation will play a role in the way they cast their ballots in November.
A new poll shows that more than 90 percent of Americans are concerned with the economy and inflation – and 80 percent say inflation will play a role in how they cast their ballot in November
Nearly 10 percent more respondents say they trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle inflation at the congressional level in a 46-37 percent margin, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.
The plurality of voters in the poll conducted October 14-16 say that they trust Republicans in Congress more to handle issues like jobs and the economy. When it comes to the economy overall, 46 percent of respondents say they trust the GOP while 45 percent said they believe Republicans could aptly handle jobs recovery.
The poll is yet another dire result for Democrats as Republicans vie to take back the majority in the House and Senate in the midst of an economic crisis that has seen 40-year high inflation and an impending recession.
The 2,005 Americans polled aren’t optimistic, with 53 percent claiming they think the economy will only get worse in the next year.
Seventy-one percent of Republicans feel the economy will worsen, while only 33 percent of Democrats feel the same. A majority of independent votes – 56 percent – say it’s likely to worsen over the next year.
For the 38th consecutive week, the majority of voters said that the country is heading in the wrong direction – the most recent poll found 70 percent of respondents feel this way.
When presented with a generic ballot, however, the two parties are still quite evenly split. Republicans have 44 percent compared to Democrats’ 45 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, meaning it’s really still a toss up on which party will emerge victorious overall.
Only 4 percent of survey respondents said that the economy and inflation would not play any role in their vote in the 2022 midterm elections.
Cost of average Thanksgiving and Christmas flights are up 50% to almost $600 as airlines cash in on renewed demand – as experts warn era of last minute flight deal is dead
The cost of the average Thanksgiving and Christmas flights are up 50 percent as airlines look to cash in on renewed travel demand.
Thanksgiving flights are poised to cost $468 on average this year, 50 percent more than last year and 30 percent more than in 2019.
Meanwhile, Christmas flights prove to be more expensive at an average of $574, up 20 percent from last year and 50 percent more than before the pandemic.
Experts are now warning that the chance to shop for holiday flight bargains is already over.
Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, said airlines will likely continue to bump prices as the holidays get closer to cash in on demand as a permanent tactic, thus ending hopes for last minute flight deals.
‘The best time to have booked those Thanksgiving and Christmas flights was June and July, and the second best is basically now,’ Keyes told the New York Times.
It comes as airlines are reporting strong fiscal quarters and revenue after receiving $54 billion in taxpayer money to stay afloat during the pandemic.
CBS travel advisor Peter Greenberg noted that the average cost of Thanksgiving flights is $468 on average this year, and Christmas flights are at $574
Pictured: A quick search on Kayak shows that a flight from De Moines, Iowa to New York City is currently fetching $693 on the site’s cheapest option
A search for the same flight on Christmas shows the cheapest at $414. Experts warn that now is the time to buy as prices are expected to soar
While travel surveys have estimated that only 31 percent of Americans will travel this holiday season, CBS travel advisor Peter Greenberg said that still equates to more than 100,000 people, and airlines are taking advantage of that.
‘If you look at the flight schedule, airlines are actually flying 10 percent less than they did last year,’ Greenberg said. ‘They’ve slashed their flights, so planes get more full, and then the law of supply and demand kicks in.’
Airlines have trimmed schedules and hired more workers to fix an understaffing problem that caused thousands of flight cancellations over the summer holidays.
While fewer flights eases the burden on staff, the buck is then passed onto customers eager to travel competing for seats.
Like Keyes, Greenberg said that the time for deals is already gone, telling Americans to now look for bargains between January 5 and May if they want to see real savings on holiday travel.
The travel site Expedia recommends travelers fly on the Monday before Thanksgiving to save an average of 30 percent on flight costs and returning on Friday to save 10 percent.
As for Christmas, the travel website found that tickets are cheaper around Monday the 19th and Tuesday the 20th.
The need for deals comes as Delta airlines revealed it earned a whopping $695 million profit for the third quarter despite having one of the most difficult summer travel seasons in history as Americans traveled at near pre-pandemic levels.
The high demand, the airline’s CEO asserted Thursday upon revealing its earnings, is expected to continue on into the fourth quarter – typically a busy one, heading into the holidays.
‘It’s going to be a very strong holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s,’ said Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday.
‘Consumers are still relatively healthy. They have deferred spending, but where they have deferred it is the acquisition of things.’
Airlines expect Americans to continue traveling in high numbers throughout the winter
Seemingly pleased with the upbeat earnings report, CEO Ed Bastian said he expected that demand would continue for the upcoming quarter, with a full recovery expected
The upbeat earnings release – which covered a span of time that saw thousands of delays and cancellations for understaffed carriers – comes after the company hiked airfares as much as 30 percent to offset losses incurred during the pandemic.
The impressive sum serves as the all-time highest revenue performance for a quarter in Delta’s history – and a bright spot for a company that saw its earnings dwindle in 2020 and 2021, when they received $5.4 billion from the federal government allowing it to stay afloat.
Profit, meanwhile, was down from the $1.5 billion the company recorded three years earlier – while the quarter’s revenue came the best the company has ever seen in its history, at close to $14 billion.
In an interview after the earnings release – which caused Delta shares to shoot up four percent before the opening bell Thursday – the CEO reiterated that optimism, assuring prospective travelers to expect a return to pre-pandemic-level accommodations before the year is out.
‘Our people delivered an amazing Q3, in arguably the most difficult summer travel season on record,’ the CEO told Squawk Box’s Phil LeBeau.
‘At the same time,’ he went on, ‘we delivered our all-time highest revenue performance for a quarter in our history… and we did it on only 83 percent scheduled capacity.’