Thanksgiving dinner essentials such as Turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie will cost about 13 per cent more in the U.S. than they did in 2010, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner feast in 2011 is $49.20, AFBF's informal price survey of classic items indicates. This is a $5.73 increase from last year's $43.47 average price.

A 16-pound Turkey was the highest costing item on the survey costing $21.57, which indicated a 25-cent per pound increase in 2011.

 Turkey prices are higher this year primarily due to strong consumer demand both here in the U.S. and globally, said John Anderson, an AFBF senior economist.

Although the price has gone up, AFBF's president, Bob Stallman, claims that the meal is still a bargain costing just under $5 per person.

The quality and variety of food produced for our dinner tables on America's diverse farms and ranches sets us apart from our contemporaries around the world.  It is an honor for our farm and ranch families to produce the food from our nation's land for family Thanksgiving celebrations, Stallman said in a press statement.

Retailers are becoming more aggressive about passing higher costs for shipping, processing and storing food for consumers, although turkey may still be featured in special sales and promotions close to Thanksgiving, the AFBF reported.

 The era of grocers holding the line on retail food cost increases is basically over, Anderson explained. Retailers are being more aggressive about passing on higher costs for shipping, processing and storing food to consumers, although turkeys may still be featured in special sales and promotions close to Thanksgiving.

Other items that showed an increase were:

Other items that showed a price increase from last year were: a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.03, up 41 cents; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.52, up 6 cents; a ½ pint of whipping cream, $1.96, up 26 cents; one pound of green peas, $1.68, up 24 cents; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.88, up 24 cents; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.30, up 18 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.26, up 7 cents; and fresh cranberries, $2.48, up 7 cents.

Demand for U.S. dairy products has been strong throughout the year and continues to influence retail prices, as demand for higher-quality food products grows globally, Anderson said. 

Item

2010 Price

2011 Price

Difference

16-pound turkey

17.66

21.57

+3.91

Milk, 1 gallon whole

3.24

3.66

+.42

Pumpkin pie mix, 30-oz.

2.62

3.03

+.41

Whipping cream, ½ pint

1.70

1.96

+.26

Cubed stuffing, 14 oz.

2.64

2.88

+.24

Green peas, 1 lb.

1.44

1.68

+.24

Rolls, 12

2.12

2.30

+.18

Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.

3.19

3.26

+.07

Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.

2.41

2.48

+.07

Pie shells (2)

2.46

2.52

+.06

Misc. ingredients

3.22

3.10

-.12

1-pound relish tray  (carrots and celery)

.77

.76

-.01

TOTAL

43.47

49.20

+5.73