Supply chain disruption, pandemic hit Americans at Thanksgiving table

Supply chain disruption, pandemic hit Americans at Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving food choices are more expensive and harder to come by this holiday due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the supply chain disruption.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey shows that turkey costs 24% more this year than in 2020. That means a 16-pound turkey costs $23.99, about $1.50 per pound.

The 36th annual survey indicates the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is $53.31 — $6.41 more than last year’s average of $46.90, a 14% increase.

“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” Veronica Nigh, the federation’s senior economist, said in a statement.

“These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat,” Ms. Nigh said.

“Further, the trend of consumers cooking and eating at home more often due to the pandemic led to increased supermarket demand and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019,” she said.

Additionally, hours at restaurants will vary due to complications, such as some businesses having trouble hiring enough employees, according to data from InMarket, a consumer intelligence company.

While national chain restaurants like Applebee’s, Starbucks and McDonald’s will have many sites open on Thanksgiving, USA Today reports that Chipotle, Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A will be closed.

The high price of meat, eggs and other staples has forced 75% of restaurants to make menu changes, including increasing prices, the National Restaurant Association said.

“Faced with these very challenging times, our industry is doing its level best to protect employees and customers, while restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Taken together, these recommendations can work to help our nation’s restaurants that are being crippled as the pandemic rages on and supply chain challenges grow.”