Originally celebrated as a harvest feast, today, Thanksgiving is one of the most significant holidays in the United States. Many families across the country will gather around their tables to share a special meal and reflect on all the things they are grateful for. But, just how much should a typical American family budget for the Thanksgiving feast this year? We can tell you. i360’s team of data engineers are constantly scraping data from thousands of sources regarding the price of everyday goods including groceries, as they are a key input for i360’s Consumer Price Index Forecasts.
According to Self.inc, the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for a gathering of 10 people in 1960 was a modest $11.65. Fast forward to the present, and glance at the chart below, put together based on data that i360’s data science team has analyzed for our inflationary forecasts, reveals a consistent upward trajectory in the cost of the Thanksgiving dinner over the past eight years. The peak, observed at the end of the previous year, was influenced by inflationary pressures. Fortunately, there is a silver lining for this year’s festivities as prices have begun a gradual descent earlier in the year. This suggests that, despite recent fluctuations, there might be a reprieve and families could potentially find themselves spending a bit less on their Thanksgiving dinner this time around.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics influencing the cost of Thanksgiving meal, it’s essential to consider the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and its relationship with inflation. i360’s data science team has developed granular forecasts of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, serves as a key economic indicator that reflects changes in the average prices paid by consumers for goods and services over time. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, plays a pivotal role in the fluctuations observed in the cost of Thanksgiving-related food items. As inflation rises, the prices of commodities like poultry, vegetables, and other essential ingredients often follow, which impact the overall cost of preparing a Thanksgiving feast. The recent peak in Thanksgiving dinner costs, as noted at the end of the previous year, aligns with periods of heightened inflation. Conversely, the observed dip in prices earlier this year indicates a potential alleviation of inflationary pressures, providing a nuanced perspective on how economic factors shape the affordability of this beloved holiday tradition.
So How much should a typical American hosting a 10-person gathering plan to budget for their Thanksgiving feast this year? Our data analysts gathered data from various sources to calculate the costs of most common ingredients, and factored in variables such as inflation, interest rates and more. Looking at a chart below, an American family gathering can expect to spend around $142 on their meal this year, just $4 more than last year.
As we anticipate the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities, the historical trends and economic factors influencing the cost of the holiday dinner shed some light on the complex interplay between inflation, consumer prices, and our traditions. With i360’s US Inflation Forecasting, access our forecasts weeks in advance of traditional forecasters, providing valuable lead time for informed decision-making. Leverage the data to help predict and navigate the potential impact of inflation on market trades, trends, and future opportunities.
Disclosure: The information in these blog posts, based on i360’s US Inflation Forecasting, is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice on any matter.