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More Than 1/3 of Americans May Downsize Thanksgiving Due to Inflation. Retailers Are Trying to Help.

Even though inflation cooled slightly in November, prices are still high. The cost of food specifically continues to rise, with turkeys – the focus of Thanksgiving dinner – forecasted to be a whopping 23% higher than last year. These price increases have forced many Americans to scale down their Thanksgiving plans or search for deals on popular ingredients. Grocers are taking note and trying to provide some relief by offering discounts on items such as turkeys, cranberry sauce, pecans and pumpkin pies.

Grocery prices have risen 12.4% over the last 12 months through October 2022, according to the recent Consumer Price Index summary. It’s gotten so bad that making a meal at home may be more expensive than eating out. In 2021, the average cost of feeding 10 guests for Thanksgiving dinner was $53.31—a 14% increase from 2020. This year, the price of a holiday meal for 10 is expected to go up even more: estimated to be $64.05, a 20% increase over last year and a 37% increase over 2020 ($46.90).

In addition to turkey prices being 23% higher, other key items are driving up holiday meal costs significantly, such as flour (+17.1%), eggs (+32.5%) and butter (+25.8%). The supply of turkey will also be even more limited this year due to the spread of bird flu early this year.

FMI—The Food Industry Association’s U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2022 series—shows that 45% of shoppers are concerned about rising meal prices more than other holiday expenses. And 84.51°, a Kroger-owned data and media company, reported that more than one-third of Americans will downsize their Thanksgiving meals due to inflation

  • 45% will cut out turkey or pumpkin pie; 
  • 37% are skipping cornbread; and 
  • 32% will consider cutting cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, or stuffing. 

Inflation has also resulted in 29% of shoppers opting for less expensive stores, with chains such as Walmart now attracting wealthier customers.

Thankfully, discount food retailers are stepping up to offer competitive pricing on holiday meal ingredients. Leading the way in driving down costs, these stores will help many consumers put Thanksgiving dinner on the table.

Aldi began to match 2019 prices on some standard Thanksgiving products in early November and will have these discounts in place until November 29. Customers can find more savings from the “Thanksgiving Price Rewind” stickers found in Aldi newspaper ads and throughout stores to receive discounts of up to 30 percent. 

Lidl’s is offering frozen turkeys for just 49 cents per pound—$1.50 below the national average. And at $1 per pound, Walmart is bringing down the price of their turkeys, too. Walmart has also committed to making Thanksgiving dinner cost no more than it did last year, with markdowns on several other holiday necessities.

Many discount food retailers are stepping in to help Americans provide their friends and families with a nice holiday meal, ensuring this beloved tradition will be feasible for more Americans. Amid historic inflation, that’s certainly something we are thankful for.