Chris Williams was shopping for a Thanksgiving turkey at Mac’s Fresh Market in Monroe Friday. / Greg Hilburn/The News-Star
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Chris Williams dug through bins of frozen turkeys at Mac's Fresh Market Friday searching for the perfect bird.
a turkey lover, so Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays," said
Williams, 40, who chose two 12-pound turkeys. "I'll probably bake one
with my own special seasonings injected into it.
"I'd like to deep fry the other one, but peanut oil is so expensive. I might bake them both."
and other consumers shopping for their Thanksgiving feasts are likely
to find many items that are more expensive than last year.
fact, a traditional meal for 10 people will cost an average of $44.35,
up 13.2 percent from 2011, the largest single-year increase since the
LSU AgCenter began its market basket survey. Last year the total cost
Consumers can blame the bulk of the increase on the birds.
cost of a 16-pound turkey at $18.45, or $1.15 per pound, reflects an
increase of 29 cents per pound or a total increase of $4.58 per whole
the largest contributor to the overall increase in the cost of the 2012
Thanksgiving dinner," LSU AgCenter family economist Jeanette Tucker
economist Kurt Guidry said the increased price of grain, which is used
to feed turkeys, has caused an increase in production costs for raising
"It may be getting reflected in higher animal prices," Guidry said.
items included in the market basket survey were stuffing, sweet
potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots
and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and
milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a group of 10.
that has corn or grain as part of the product or that's used to feed
livestock has gone up," said Reggy McDaniel, who owns 15 Mac's Fresh
Market stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
But higher prices aren't likely to affect consumers' Thanksgiving menus.
Byars, Brookshire Grocery Co.'s regional vice president, said the
stores in northeastern Louisiana will sell 2,500 turkeys or more for
one of the most exciting weeks of the year for grocers because this is a
holiday that's all about the food," Byars said. "Business began to pick
up Friday and will build all the way through Wednesday, which will be
one of the biggest days of the year."
even though the average price of a regularly priced turkey is $1.15,
most grocers are offering in-store specials on the birds this week for
In fact, the LSU AgCenter said four out of five Thanksgiving turkeys are sold on a holiday special.
for example, advertised turkeys for 77 cents per pound with an
additional $25 purchase, while Byars said Brookshire's is offering a
bundle of free Thanksgiving market basket items for customers who buy a
"If consumers shop smart, I believe they will find that they may even save money over last year," Byars said.
"You definitely have to shop around," he said.
Market basket survey:
Turkey: $1.15 per pound (up 29 cents per pound)
On gallon whole milk: $4.54 (up 11 cents)
30-ounce pumpkin pie mix: $2.84 (up 15 cents)
Three pounds of sweet potatoes: $2.86 (up 20 cents)
Stuffing mix: $2.15 (up 79 cents)
12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.39 (down 11 cents)
12-ounce brown and serve rolls: $2.22 (down 13 cents)
16-ounce frozen green peas: $1.50 (down 32 cents)
8 ounces of whipping cream: $1.62 (down 15 cents)
Two 9-inch pie shells: $1.92 (down 37 cents)
Miscellaneous items: $3.86 (flat)
Greg Hilburn, Shreveport Times