COLUMBUS, Ohio – The price of last-minute Halloween candy may be on the minds of many, but people might want to start budgeting for a more expensive bird for Thanksgiving.
“It’s a marginal increase,” said agriculture expert Andy Vance. “When you look at the national average wholesale price for whole turkeys, it’s about $ 1.35 per pound. This is going to be up from $ 1.14 a pound at the same time last year and well above the five-year average of $ 1.06. “
While poultry is generally cheaper than other meats like beef and pork, Vance said some cuts are likely to be more expensive.
“The large boneless, skinless turkey breast is also a bit more expensive,” he said. “If you prefer a breast instead of the whole turkey, it’s now about $ 3.45 per pound. Now that’s where we’ve seen a huge increase because it’s up from around $ 1.80 a pound last year. “
Vance said disruptions in the supply chain and declining numbers of turkeys are the main reasons for the price increase.
“We could talk about the same story of supply and demand that we have really followed throughout the pandemic,” he said. “The supply chain problems that the pandemic has caused and exacerbated for 18 months and more, these still apply, but the biggest problem, frankly, is that producers are producing fewer turkeys. They react to market incentives. And if you think about how you consume turkey at home, chances are the only time you buy a whole turkey is Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas. “
Vance said this trend is expected to continue through the Christmas holiday season.
USDA statistics for turkeys can be found here.