Want one thing to be glad about? Nicely, along with the roof above your head and the gadget you’re studying this on, you may add the value of your Thanksgiving turkey to the record.
That’s in line with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which discovered that the typical worth of an 8-to-16-pound turkey was $1.27 per pound in August 2023 — a 22% decline from August 2022. The U.S. Division of Agriculture likewise lists the typical worth per pound for frozen, complete hen turkeys as $1.27 in August 2023 — down simply over 22% from $1.64 in August 2022.
The costs of some turkey merchandise fell extra dramatically, like boneless and skinless male turkey breasts, which had been 61% cheaper in August 2023 than the identical time final yr, per the AFBF.
Why is that this occurring? As a result of, lastly, a extremely contagious avian flu outbreak got here below management.
Poultry trade ‘holding its breath’
In early 2022, what would develop into the biggest hen flu outbreak in U.S. historical past began infecting wild and business flocks. Since then, it’s killed greater than 60 million birds, and people shrinking provides drove sharp will increase in poultry and egg costs.
However the scenario has improved. In September 2023, somewhat over 500 birds contracted the avian flu. That’s a dramatic decline from the identical interval one yr earlier, when 8.15 million birds contracted the flu, in line with the AFBF.
“We’re holding our breath,” says Gregory P. Martin, an extension educator in poultry at Penn State College Extension, talking in regards to the broader poultry trade.
However whereas the scenario is a lot better than final yr, avian flu circumstances have began climbing once more. There have been 520 new avian influenza circumstances in September; in October, there have been 1.37 million new circumstances. To date in November, 1.09 million new circumstances have been detected.
How the avian flu may have an effect on turkey availability
Due to the poultry manufacturing provide chain, the timing of hen flu outbreaks impacts the provision of sure sorts of turkeys, Martin says.
There ought to be an “ample provide” of frozen turkeys, Martin says, as a result of producers can retailer frozen turkeys for as much as a yr earlier than we see them on grocery cabinets. However contemporary turkeys will likely be tougher to return by, Martin says, as a result of latest surge in influenza circumstances. That outbreak coincided with the tip of the poultry trade’s “seasonal processing,” Martin says. Any contemporary turkeys that wanted to be in grocery shops by Thanksgiving ought to’ve been processed 4 to 6 weeks beforehand.
One pound of frozen complete turkey will yield round 8 ounces of meat.
“At this late date, a lot of the contemporary inventory has already been processed and is being held in refrigeration,” Martin says. “For those who want a contemporary hen, you need to be ordering it now. Not later — now.”
Frozen turkeys are sometimes cheaper than contemporary turkeys. As of Nov. 3, the typical price of a frozen turkey is roughly $1.18 per pound within the northeastern U.S., in comparison with $1.69 per pound for contemporary turkeys, in line with the USDA’s most up-to-date national turkey retail report. (The USDA lists the costs of each contemporary and frozen turkeys solely within the northeast.)
For those who had been hoping to snag a contemporary turkey from a neighborhood farm, you could be out of luck this yr, Martin says, since these farms can’t course of and retailer turkeys way back to bigger producers can.
“For those who’re ordering from a neighborhood farm, you in all probability ought to’ve executed it final month,” Martin says.
Frozen turkey costs
Under, you’ll discover the listed on-line costs for frozen turkeys at a number of grocery shops. Notice: Every product’s worth per pound was checked in a number of U.S. cities, however costs should fluctuate in your space.
$1.49 per pound: Butterball premium all-natural younger turkey.
99 cents per pound: Good & Collect premium basted younger turkey.
$2.59 per pound: Butterball complete turkey.
$2.49 per pound: Signature Farms complete turkey.
$4.49 per pound: Signature Choose absolutely cooked hickory smoked complete younger turkey.
$69 cents per pound: Publix complete turkey Grade A.
$2.99 per pound: Plainville complete turkey, raised with out antibiotics.
$1.28 per pound: Butterball premium complete turkey.
98 cents per pound: Shady Brook Farms complete younger turkey.
Wait a second — what about inflation?
You would possibly assume turkey is cheaper as a result of inflation is cooling off. However regardless of inflation’s slowdown in latest months, most costs aren’t happening simply but.
Shopper costs throughout all classes are up 3.2% yr over yr, as of October 2023, in line with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s higher than issues had been final yr — in October 2022, client costs had been up 7.7% yr over yr, per the BLS.
Analysts imagine that in 2024, inflation could have dropped close to the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal. It’s essential to keep in mind that something may occur between every now and then — a lesson all of us discovered through the pandemic. However, if the economic system reacts to the Fed’s manipulations the way in which federal regulators assume it is going to, shoppers will lastly see a relaxing of inflation for groceries, housing and different items.