Supply chain issues could lead to ‘most expensive Thanksgiving on record,’ expert says

Money

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Thanksgiving 2021 may be the most expensive in the holiday’s history, according to a local economics expert.

The cost of groceries went up by 4.5% from September 2020 to September 2021, the latest consumer price index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

“Key items for Thanksgiving are going to be affected with price increases,” said Diane McCrohan, marketing department chair for the Johnson & Wales University School of Business.

With the holiday just around the corner, McCrohan said experts predict it will be costly to put turkey and all of the fixings on the table.

“This year, our consumer can expect to pay four to five percent more for their Thanksgiving dinner,” she said. “It might be the most expensive Thanksgiving on record.”

It all stems from supply chain issues, worker shortages, and fewer goods due to bad weather, according to McCrohan.

“Every single part of the supply chain has been affected from COVID, and we just haven’t recovered yet,” she said, adding that shortages of glass used to make bottles for wine and shortages of steel used for cans is hiking up prices.

McCrohan offered some suggestions to help cut costs this year:

  • Buy your turkey early, especially if you plan to have a smaller size
  • Use coupons. McCrohan advises heading to manufacturer or coupon websites to stock up
  • Shop around at different stores to compare prices

“This year, they did make turkeys larger, so overall, you’ll probably be buying a larger turkey as well which will be more per pound,” McCrohan said, adding that consumers can expect to pay $0.25 more per pound this year.

“The best thing you can do is shop early, shop around and shop local,” she added. “Be prepared for everything to be more expensive.”

McCrohan also suggested doing a potluck dinner instead of having one family make the entire meal to help split the cost.

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