NewsPublic Affairs / November 20, 2018

Consumers Gobbling Up Decade Low Turkey Prices This Thanksgiving

Shoppers can expect to pay less than $1.50 per pound of turkey this holiday, with some sales dropping the cost below 50 cents per pound.2018-11-20T00:00:00-05:00
Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Consumers Gobbling Up Decade Low Turkey Prices This Thanksgiving

Turkeys for sale at a Meijer in Lafayette, Indiana.

(Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Rolling your cart down the grocery aisle in preparation for the big meal Thursday, you can expect the lowest turkey prices this decade.

Shoppers can expect to pay less than $1.50 per pound of turkey this holiday, with some sales dropping the cost below 50 cents per pound.

Department head of Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics Jayson Lusk says low feed prices have helped.

“Corn, soybean prices have been low this year and they’ve been low the last couple of years,” says Lusk. “And feed is major component of the price of a turkey and that’s probably one of the major contributors to turkey being affordable this year.”

Even with Thanksgiving days away, he says good prices can still be had, because being an early bird doesn’t necessarily save money.

“If you go back and look at the last ten years or so, on average turkey prices are about ten percent lower in November than they are in the month before in October,” says Lusk.

He explains there are a couple drivers for the price drop.

“One is that grocery stores may use turkeys as what we call a loss leader,” says Lusk. “They know everybody’s gonna be looking for turkey and if they drop their price, they can get them in the door and then people will buy all their other groceries there including milk and pumpkin pie and all those other things.”

Looking to next year, Lusk doesn’t expect consumers to see a big price increase.

“If we look out to next year, what’s going to happen,” he says. “Well I don’t have a crystal ball, but we don’t see any signs to suggest that prices are going to rise right now. And so it looks like it’s going to be largely the same.”

The Indiana Farm Bureau calculates the overall meal will cost Hoosier families about seven percent less than last year.

Cranberries are also cheaper this year – around 50 cents a pound, which is 30 percent less than five years ago.

 

 

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