How Much Should You Pay for Thanksgiving Turkey?

Be grateful for your Thanksgiving turkey this year — it costs an average of two cents less per pound this year.

Thanksgiving turkey shopping

The national average price per pound is now about $1.40, and a 16-pound turkey costs an average of $22.44 this year.

Apparently, demand for turkey has declined compared to last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Demand varies by geography and food price inflation also has variations in different locations, due to transportation costs and differences in the standard of living.

Regional Prices

Regional differences in the average cost of living result in price variations even within the same supermarket chain or mega-retailer.

Stores tend to put prices in location-specific circulars rather than on national publications because local prices vary by up to 15% to 30% from the average.

During 2016, the average person ate 16.7 pounds of turkey, according to the National Turkey Federation. This is a little more than double the per capita consumption in 1970.

This also explains why prices can vary by the type of retailer — and even different locations owned by the same supermarket chain.

Nearly Everybody’s Eating Thanksgiving Turkey

Whatever the price, about 88% of Americas plan to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and the industry expects about 46 million of the birds to be served on the big day.

Meanwhile, the USDA recommends that dinner hosts plan their turkey purchases with the assumption of one pound of poultry per guest.

Readers, are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner or planning to attend someone else’s feast?

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