By Cara Smith | NerdWallet
Need one thing to be glad about? Well, along with the roof above your head and the system you’re studying this on, you may add the worth of your Thanksgiving turkey to the listing.
That’s in accordance with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which discovered that the typical worth of an 8-to-16-pound turkey was $1.27 per pound in August 2023 — a 22% decline from August 2022. The U.S. Department of Agriculture likewise lists the typical worth per pound for frozen, entire hen turkeys as $1.27 in August 2023 — down simply over 22% from $1.64 in August 2022.
The costs of some turkey merchandise fell extra dramatically, like boneless and skinless male turkey breasts, which have been 61% cheaper in August 2023 than the identical time final yr, per the AFBF.
Why is that this occurring? Because, lastly, a extremely contagious avian flu outbreak got here beneath management.
Poultry trade ‘holding its breath’
In early 2022, what would turn out to be the biggest fowl flu outbreak in U.S. historical past began infecting wild and industrial flocks. Since then, it’s killed greater than 60 million birds, and people shrinking provides drove sharp will increase in poultry and egg costs.
But the state of affairs has improved. In September 2023, just a little over 500 birds contracted the avian flu. That’s a dramatic decline from the identical interval one yr earlier, when 8.15 million birds contracted the flu, in accordance with the AFBF.
“We’re holding our breath,” says Gregory P. Martin, an extension educator in poultry at Penn State University Extension, talking in regards to the broader poultry trade.
But whereas the state of affairs is a lot better than final yr, avian flu circumstances have began climbing once more. There have been 520 new avian influenza circumstances in September; in October, there have been 1.37 million new circumstances. So far in November, 1.09 million new circumstances have been detected.
How the avian flu might have an effect on turkey availability
Because of the poultry manufacturing provide chain, the timing of fowl flu outbreaks impacts the provision of sure sorts of turkeys, Martin says.
There needs to be an “ample supply” of frozen turkeys, Martin says, as a result of producers can retailer frozen turkeys for as much as a yr earlier than we see them on grocery cabinets. But recent turkeys can be more durable to return by, Martin says, because of the current surge in influenza circumstances. That outbreak coincided with the top of the poultry trade’s “seasonal processing,” Martin says. Any recent turkeys that wanted to be in grocery shops by Thanksgiving ought to’ve been processed 4 to 6 weeks beforehand.
Nerdy Tip: One pound of frozen entire turkey will yield round 8 ounces of meat.
“At this late date, most of the fresh stock has already been processed and is being held in refrigeration,” Martin says. “If you need a fresh bird, you should be ordering it now. Not later — now.”
Frozen turkeys are sometimes cheaper than recent turkeys. As of Nov. 3, the typical value of a frozen turkey is roughly $1.18 per pound within the northeastern U.S., in comparison with $1.69 per pound for recent turkeys, in accordance with the USDA’s most up-to-date nationwide turkey retail report. (The USDA lists the costs of each recent and frozen turkeys solely within the northeast.)
If you have been hoping to snag a recent turkey from an area farm, you might be out of luck this yr, Martin says, since these farms can’t course of and retailer turkeys way back to bigger producers can.
“If you’re ordering from a local farm, you probably should’ve done it last month,” Martin says.
Frozen turkey costs
Below, you’ll discover the listed on-line costs for frozen turkeys at a number of grocery shops. Note: Each product’s worth per pound was checked in a number of U.S. cities, however costs should still range in your space.
- $1.49 per pound: Butterball premium all-natural younger turkey.
- 99 cents per pound: Good & Gather premium basted younger turkey.
- $2.59 per pound: Butterball entire turkey.
- $2.49 per pound: Signature Farms entire turkey.
- $4.49 per pound: Signature Select totally cooked hickory smoked entire younger turkey.
- $69 cents per pound: Publix entire turkey Grade A.
- $2.99 per pound: Plainville entire turkey, raised with out antibiotics.
- $1.28 per pound: Butterball premium entire turkey.
- 98 cents per pound: Shady Brook Farms entire younger turkey.
Wait a second — what about inflation?
You would possibly assume turkey is cheaper as a result of inflation is cooling off. But regardless of inflation’s slowdown in current months, most costs aren’t happening simply but.
Consumer costs throughout all classes are up 3.2% yr over yr, as of October 2023, in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s higher than issues have been final yr — in October 2022, shopper costs have been up 7.7% yr over yr, per the BLS.
Analysts consider that in 2024, inflation may have dropped close to the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal. It’s vital to do not forget that something might occur between at times — a lesson all of us realized through the pandemic. But, if the financial system reacts to the Fed’s manipulations the way in which federal regulators assume it can, customers will lastly see a relaxing of inflation for groceries, housing and different items.