“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008. Just six states-Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and Indiana-will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 271 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year.
The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys-one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007-were eaten at Thanksgiving.” — www.history.com
With so many turkey’s being laid on our tables each year for the Thanksgiving holiday, it does make you wonder, what is the average cost of a turkey? Yes, you would think to factor in the weight of the turkey to get precise about it. The American Farm Bureau Federation conducted a survey in 2007 covering the average cost of a 16-pound turkey, plus other items traditionally bought for a family dinner (serving size of 10) for Thanksgiving. Including the items stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk. ‘”The inventory of birds in cold storage is relatively small this year. This has helped drive up the average retail turkey price. The tremendous increase in energy costs for transportation and processing over the past year also is a key factor behind higher retail prices at the grocery store,” said Jim Sartwelle, an AFBF economist.’
So, if in 2006 the average cost for a 16-pound turkey was $15.70 and then $17.63 in 2007, applying the same cost difference to calculate this years price would bring us to $21.49. That’s saying a lot for the turkey my husband and I just bought. Twenty-three pounds for about $30. That’s a nine dollar difference at $0.94 – 0.95 per additional pound. Taking in the numbers, I just paid around $1.30 per pound . . . That’s $0.04 less per pound compared to the cost per pound on a 16-pound turkey. Not a bad savings.
What could you pay for the other dinner items this year (given a guess-timent of the numbers I’ve collected for AFBF’s 2007 survey)? Fourteen-ounces of stuffing: 2007’s price of $2.40, a $0.20 decrease from 2006 = $2.00; thirty-ounces of pumpkin pie mix:, 2007’s price of $2.13, an increase of $0.24 in 2006 = $2.61; two pie shells: 2007’s price of $2.08, an increase of $0.10 in 2006 = $2.28: three pounds of sweet potatoes: 2007’s price of $3.08, an increase of $0.17 in 2006 = $3.42; twelve rolls: 2007’s price of $1.89, an increase of $0.11 in 2006 = $2.11: the price of one pound green peas (undetermined if frozen, fresh, or canned) hasn’t changed from the price of $1.46; one pound relish tray (carrots and celery): 2007’s price of $0.66, a decrease of $.05 from 2006 = $0.56; a gallon of whole milk: 2007’s price of $3.88, an increase of $0.95 in 2006 = $5.78 (not to far from the truth at one of the stores in my town); twelve ounces of fresh cranberries: 2007’s price of $2.20, an increase of $0.08 in 2006 = $2.36; and lastly a half pint of cream: 2007’s price of $1.56, an increase of $0.09 in 2006 = $1.74. Miscellaneous ingredients $3.29 in 2007, now $4.61. 2007’s total for the itemized grocery list was 42.56. I calculated the increased difference from the table given on http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=newsroom.newsfocus&year=2007&file=nr1115.html and this years total for the same list would be $50.58.
Keep in mind that as stated in the survey, “Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spend $50 and receive a free turkey,” as of 2007. Prices may vary depending on location and store and whether or not you use coupons and/or purchase deals offered. And most of the items are made for families without much time in the day to cook as compared to families who are able to spend a great deal on cook time. The survey was based on a total of 151 volunteer shoppers from 31 states with a questioner that has been unchanged since it first was conducted in 1986.
To finally say that with the amount of turkeys eaten for Thanksgiving each year (53 million as of 2009) $1138.97 million dollars will be spent on 16-pound turkeys, only given that ALL turkeys bought are 16 pounds.