Consumers finally get some relief at the grocery store.
After weeks of news about the cost of Thanksgiving foods going up (as much as 73% for turkey and 20% for potatoes), there is some good news regarding several poultry meats — just as many people are sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner.
Months of soaring prices saw a slight course reversal when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that, in October, chicken prices fell 1.4% from the previous month.
They are still up 14.5% year-over-year but, as first reported by CNN, the downward direction is a welcome sign after months of unbroken inflation. Turkey prices have been prone to particularly inconsistent fluctuation — at the height of the avian flu in October prices for frozen ones were up as much as 73% while that later dropped more in line with other meat prices at 24%.
At a most recent check, numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that turkey prices are up just 6% from 2021 largely due to fewer avian flu cases as well as mild inflation correction and lower demand now that everyone’s purchased their Thanksgiving turkey.
The consumer price index found that, in October, groceries overall were 12.4% more expensive than the previous year.
If You’re Not Sick Of Leftovers Yet, Buy Turkey
“That doesn’t mean we won’t see a resurgence in the spring, when they return, but we’re moving out of the high season for now,” Bernt Nelson, economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, told CNET.
This spells good news for those who also eat turkey on Christmas or just generally have it as part of their diet — the time to buy it is now as prices could go up again in a few weeks.
While one study showed that inflation had pushed 38% of Americans to spend less on their Thanksgiving feasts this year, food inflation has been a consistent problem not just around the holidays but for almost everyone.
Several foot traffic reports found previously who otherwise ate at sit-down restaurants started turning toward McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report and Chipotle (CMG) – Get Free Report while more and more people are going to bargain stores like Family Dollar, Dollar General and Five Below (FIVE) – Get Free Report for their grocery shopping.
Another study from Nebraska insurance company Breeze found that 73% and 62% of U.S. households had cut back on respective restaurant spending and groceries earlier this year.
Promises To Fight Food Inflation Can Be A Marketing Strategy
At the start of November, Walmart (WMT) – Get Free Report promised shoppers that they would keep the costs of foods that are traditionally part of the Thanksgiving spread the same as what they were in 2021.
The promotion includes items like turkey, ham and stuffing and will last until the end of December for those who cook similar things for the winter holidays.
“We’re proud to offer customers this year’s Thanksgiving meal at last year’s price so families don’t need to worry about how they’ll set their holiday table,” Walmart EVP of Food John Laney, said in a statement. “We are currently rolling out the pricing, and customers can take advantage of the savings for all their holiday meals through December 26, 2022.”
The promotion received a largely positive response which indicates that food inflation is driving the shopping habits of many consumers — any deal that promises to combat it will do good things for the retailer’s image.