This Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a real turkey.
With inflation and avian bird flu sending the cost of the traditional holiday feast sky high this year, it may be smarter to eat out, according to a report from Wells Fargo.
The study, which compared Consumer Price Index data from November 2021 with November of this year, found that the cost of food away from home has increased at a rate of 5.79%. That’s well below the increase consumers have seen at the supermarket, where prices are up an unsavory 9.81%.
“That narrowing of the [cost] gap means some Thanksgiving dishes at your favorite restaurant are closer in price to your food at home which could save you time and energy. In other words, you could spend about the same on a dish at a restaurant as you would preparing it at home,” the report stated.
Turkey prices are forecast to be up 23%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, and that’s just the beginning of the heartburn-inducing news.
The price of eggs has increased 32.5%, compared to the same time last year, while butter has slid up 25.8% and flour has risen by 17.1%. In addition, issues with cranberry crops in the northwest, brought on by “adverse weather,” are expected to wreak havoc with the supply.
“The size and quality of the berries in the Northwest may not meet fresh product standards,” the report noted. “This means less fruit for the fresh market and more fruit for processors. Since most fresh berries are in high demand around Thanksgiving, prices will likely be higher than last year.”
White potatoes grown in the northwest states like Idaho are expected to rise in price this year, due to similar climate struggles. However, a surplus of sweet potatoes, typically grown in the southeast, is expected to fill the gap.
“For all those sweet potato pie lovers out there, this is truly your year to shine,” the report reads.
Wells Fargo reports that the biggest bargain this season will be coming from limited service restaurants, or LSRs. Those include big brands such as Panera Bread and Chipotle — a highly competitive category catering to more price-sensitive customers, hence the hesitation to send prices into orbit just yet, Wells Fargo said.