Americans Aren’t Letting Inflation Interrupt Their Thanksgiving
Holiday costs from groceries to travel are up, and consumers have been willing to pay them.
By Roe D’Angelo and Zachary Bickel
Illustrations by Cari Vander Yacht
The Thanksgiving feast last year was one of the most expensive ever; this time, prices are higher for everything, from the wine at the start of the meal to the coffee and pie at the end.
It will cost more to get to the table, too: The average domestic airfare for Thanksgiving week travel jumped 46 percent from last year, while gasoline is up about 6 percent. Even your holiday-weekend binge-watch is higher priced.
But American consumers seem largely undeterred.
Although factors beyond companies’ control — supply chain snags; ingredient shortages; higher labor, fuel and shipping costs; and, in the case of turkeys and eggs, avian flu — helped to push up prices, so did customers’ willingness to pay them. Air travel has risen alongside airfares. (Inflation was at 7.7 percent in October, a slowdown from the month before but still at a level not seen since the early 1980s.)
The cost of groceries rose 12.4 percent in October, but Walmart, the biggest U.S. grocery chain, saw both sales and volume jump in the third quarter. And most American consumers expect to spend more on holiday groceries, according to a survey by Daymon Worldwide, a private-brand development company.
Planning to host, or be hosted, this year? Here’s how much more it could cost, compared with last year:
Cubed bread stuffing, 14 oz.:+41%
White potatoes, 1 lb.: +15.2%
Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.: -16%
Fresh vegetables: + 8.3%
Wine, 1 liter:+3.2%
Beer, 12 oz. can:+6%
Sources: Airfare data from Kayak based on fares available Aug. 1 to Oct. 25. Data on annual price increases of products from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Agriculture Department and the American Farm Bureau Federation, an industry group.
Niraj Chokshi, Julie Creswell and Jordyn Holman contributed reporting.