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Cost of Thanksgiving dinner up less than 1 percent

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The price of Thanksgiving dinner edged up slightly this year.

According to the annual report by the American Farm Bureau Federation, it costs an average $49.48 to put a turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie on a 10-member Thanksgiving table. The 2012 price tag is up 28 cents, or less than 1 percent from 2011.

Turkeys cost on average $1.39 per pound, an increase of about 4 cents per pound. The organization said its 16-pound turkey was the most expensive item on its shopping list.

UF Food and Resource Economics Department professor Rodney Clouser said that price varies slightly across the country, though. Consumers see higher prices for commodities in bigger cities.

“It will probably cost you more per pound for a whole turkey in San Francisco than it’s going to cost you in Orlando,” he said. “Part of it is because it may be related to the transportation cost, but it’s also because the cost in general in those communities are higher than many other places. So the cost of getting there, the cost of advertising, all those things may be higher.”

Clouser said turkey production is up 4 percent and turkey stock increased 9 percent this year compared to this time in 2011.

Little price fluctuation or availability in turkeys will happen between Thanksgiving and late December holidays, he said.

He said growing preferences for organic or locally grown foods haven’t changed the overall industry.

“Obviously one of the growing parts of the entire food industry has been some of the natural foods or locally grown foods or stuff like that. Those tend to be niche markets,” he said. “Even though that’s been growing quite rapidly, in terms of the total production of a meat bird or different things like that, it’s still a relatively small number in the U.S.”

 

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