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Thanksgiving Turkeys Will Be Cheaper Than Expected This Year — Dollars and Sense

Thanksgiving turkey
Brand X Pictures

The price of turkey is going to be cheaper than expected this year, largely because many retailers were able to lock in the cost of the birds before the summer’s drought sent feed prices way, way up.

Now retailers plan to offer customers the lowest possible prices on Thanksgiving turkeys in hopes of driving them to purchase other traditional holiday favorites like stuffing, cranberries and sweet potatoes, according to industry reports.

Retailers who failed to get their prices locked in during the spring are now being forced to raise the prices of their turkeys up to nearly $4 a pound, more than double the approximately $1.62 per pound for the larger, luckier ones. That price is just slightly up from $1.57 per pound two years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Unfortunately, this is bad news for the many mom-and-pop-type retailers who will undoubtedly lose out this Thanksgiving to larger supermarkets. But some of those retailers say they plan combat the rising cost of turkey this holiday season by absorbing as much of the extra cost as possible into other areas not directly affected by the drought.

For now, it looks as if the consumer wins the battle of the bird, at least this year. Only time will tell how much economic spillage from this year’s drought will flow over into next year. It might be a good idea to stock up on turkey just in case.


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