KNOXVILLE Tenn. (WATE) — With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Tennesseans should expect to pay more at the grocery store this holiday season.
The University of Tennessee Extension did a survey of traditional Thanksgiving food prices and saw a significant increase in price from last year. Dr. Chris Sneed from the University of Tennessee said inflation is the cause, and it is being felt nationally.
“If you look at the prices of a Thanksgiving meal pre-pandemic, so 2019, and compare it to today, you’ll see that prices have gone up 25 percent, and that’s a lot for consumers to handle,” said Sneed.
The team, led by Professor and Consumer Economics Specialist Ann Berry, surveyed grocery stores across Tennessee from November 1 to November 8. Items surveyed included turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, English pea salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and rolls. The team also estimated that the Thanksgiving meal would feed 10 people.
The study showed that a typical Thanksgiving meal will be about 14 percent more expensive than last year. According to UT, the total cost of a meal for 10 people was $128.02, with a per-person cost of $12.80.
One of the catalysts of the increasing price is what Sneed explains as “shrinkflation.”
“So shrinkflation is simply reducing the volume of a product, keeping the packaging the same and charging the same price,” he said, “It’s kind of inflations cousin or sibling if you will.”
This means consumers will have to watch carefully for changing prices and the quantity they buy. It may also mean going to a cheaper grocery store or one that is less convenient.
There are other ways to not let Thanksgiving dinner break the bank. If you are preparing your Thanksgiving meal, Sneed said it might be a smart option to have your sides done potluck style.
“I think it is a great idea to let everyone chip into the Thanksgiving meal. So instead of having one particular person bearing the burden of the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner, divide it up, and let everyone that’s coming contribute as well,” said Sneed.
A breakdown of the team’s survey results can be found by clicking here.