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Why Thanksgiving dinner may be more expensive this year

According to the American Farm Bureau's annual Thanksgiving dinner survey a holiday feast for a family of 10 featuring turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie will cost $53.31 this year, a 14% increase over last year.
Wed, Nov 24 202111:14 AM EST

Shawn Baldwin, CNBC.com producer

With inflation at a 30-year high and turkey prices soaring, Thanksgiving dinner in 2021 might end up being one of the priciest holiday meals on record.

Brock Stein, president, Koch's Turkey Farm

I joke, but I'm not really joking that every step of our supply chain has been under stress, and has certainly seen increases in cost.

Shawn Baldwin

U.S. turkey farmers have been battered by a range of supply chain issues including labor shortages in processing plants and higher costs in everything including feed, transportation and packaging materials. 

Those disruptions have caused turkey prices to spike.  

As of November 2021, the wholesale price of frozen whole tom turkeys weighing 16 to 24 pounds was $1.36 per pound, 18% higher than a year earlier.  

And according to analysts, turkeys are also in shorter supply.

Brandon Koch, vice president of live operations, Koch's Turkey Farm

There's definitely concern that there's going to be some shortages of fresh turkeys, especially this holiday. And so we've seen quite a bit of increased demand from that on top of the normally high demand that comes with Thanksgiving time.

Trey Malone, agricultural economist at Michigan State University

One thing that you probably will notice at the grocery store this year is more bare shelves, as we move into the holiday season. That doesn't necessarily mean that we haven't produced enough, it just means that the supply chain disruptions have created more uncertainty along the system.

Shawn Baldwin

In October 2021 the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the supply of turkeys in cold storage was down 20% from a year earlier.  

More than 109 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving in 2021 and 65% of Americans expect Covid-19 to impact their Thanksgiving celebrations. 

So what can consumers expect when they shop for their Thanksgiving turkey this year and what impact will the supply chain crisis have on the nation's turkey farmers?