Shoppers brace themselves as Thanksgiving dinner will cost more this year

Aside from the turkey, shoppers are also encouraged to buy sides and trimmings early.
MARLTON, New Jersey -- Shoppers will be spending a bit more this year to make their favorite Thanksgiving dishes due to labor shortages, transportation costs and supply chain disruptions.

"It's getting annoying. Every time I go shopping my bill is up $30 to $40 from what it use to be," said Ann-Marie O'Brien, of Marlton, New Jersey.

Chris Mentzer, the operations director at Rastelli Market Fresh said prices are up on everything. It's the situation every grocery store is grappling with. He said it's not because of the prices of the actual products.

"The manufacturers, the shipping, the supply line is driving prices up across the board. Anything we're getting, you'll see an increase from shipping," Mentzer said.

Food prices are up 3.7% in 2021 versus a 20-year average of about 2.4 percent according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. For the traditional turkey, shoppers are urged to get one early.

"If you get a fresh turkey, don't be afraid to get one now and put it in the freezer," Mentzer said. "Or, if you get the frozen turkey grab it now. You're going to see a lot of small turkeys get gobbled up very quickly, excuse the pun."

Jaindl Farms in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania produces nearly 850,000 turkeys this year. The farm had to raise costs by 10% to 12%. For shoppers, it means a $30 12-pound turkey will be a little more than $33.

"Our input costs, whether it's feed, fuel, labor costs, all those costs are way up," Owner David Jaindl said.

Aside from the famous bird, shoppers are also encouraged to buy all sides and trimmings early. According to Mentzer, the cost of aluminum and glass is also up which drives the price tag on those items up, too.

"The prices keep going up, so if it's on sale, I will try to pick it up each week," said Ann-Marie O'Brien.

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