Those celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday will be paying more than ever before as the result of avian influenza, commonly called the bird flu, striking millions of turkeys, according to a farm group.
Turkey, the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, had a price jump of 6.4 percent after the outbreak. Those in the Midwest, where the avian flu struck the hardest, will be especially affected by the loss of fowl.
More than 7.7. million turkeys were destroyed by the bird flue earlier this year, according to government reports. Officials said the prices shouldn’t go any higher.
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“Retail prices seem to have stabilized quite a bit for turkey, which is the centerpiece of the meal in our market basket,” John Anderson, the farm group’s deputy chief economist, said in the statement. “Despite concerns earlier this fall about pumpkin production due to wet weather, the supply of canned product will be adequate for this holiday season.”
Many are advertising frozen turkeys for a cheap price. The average advertised price for tom turkeys was 87 cents as of Nov. 19. That is down from 93 cents last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Supermarkets are also offering sales to jump start Thanksgiving shoppers with some pricing frozen turkeys as low as 49 cents a pound.
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Overall, the holiday dinner is still going to price out at $50.11 for feeding 10 people, according to figures. This is the first time it is topping $50. The price index is based on 12 popular items served during a typical Thanksgiving meal. Besides the turkey, items include sweet potatoes, rolls, stuffing, and pumpkin pie fixings. The annual pricing survey was completed by 138 shoppers in 32 states.
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