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Turkey prices drop, thanksgiving back to normal
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/17/2023

After a few years of high turkey prices and spot shortages, Thanksgiving dinner's centerpiece is expected to be more affordable and readily available this year.

"Turkey prices are down about $0.10 per pound this year on average," said Gregory Martin, a poultry specialist with Penn State Extension.

Consumers can expect to find turkeys in the supermarket ranging from $1.50 to $1.90 per pound. Fresh birds will be slightly more expensive than frozen birds.

Generic turkeys are another way to save money. They are the same breed as branded birds but are typically priced lower.

Last year's higher turkey prices were due to inflation and the ongoing avian influenza outbreak. However, there are no current avian influenza outbreaks in commercial turkey operations in the Mid-Atlantic, so shoppers should not experience any bird shortages.

Consumers should make sure to thaw frozen turkeys a few days up to a week before Thanksgiving. It is also important to cook turkey to 165 degrees to prevent illness.

The average cost of a Thanksgiving meal is down $2.88 from last year, totaling $61.17. Russet potatoes, cubed stuffing, fresh cranberries, and milk are all down in price this year. Pumpkin pie filling and green beans are up slightly in price.

While the holiday meal is down from last year's historic prices, it is still $7.86 higher than 2021.

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