Thanksgiving and Inflation: The Cost of Holidays This Year

From groceries to travel, vacation costs have risen and consumers have been willing to pay for them.

Roe D’Angelo Spirit

Thanksgiving last year was one of the most expensive ever; this time the prices are higher for everything from the wine at the start of the meal to the coffee and cake at the end.

It will also cost more to get to the table: the average domestic airfare for Thanksgiving week travel is up 46 percent from a year ago, while gasoline is up about 6 percent. Even your binge watch on the bank holiday weekend is more expensive.

But American consumers seem largely unimpressed.

Although factors beyond the control of companies, supply chain issues; shortage of ingredients; higher labor, fuel and shipping costs; and in the case of turkeys and eggs, bird flu – helped drive up prices, as did customers’ willingness to pay. Air travel has increased in line with air fares. (Inflation was 7.7 percent in October, a month-on-month slowdown but still at levels not seen since the early 1980s.)

The cost of groceries rose 12.4 percent in October, but Walmart, the largest US grocery chain, saw both sales and volumes jump in the third quarter. According to a survey by Daymon Worldwide, a private label development company, most American consumers expect to spend more on holiday groceries.

Are you planning to host or become a host this year? It could cost this much more compared to last year:

Diced Bread Filling, 14 oz.:+41%

White potatoes, 1 pound: +15.2%

Fresh Cranberries, 12 ounces: -16%

Fresh vegetables: + 8.3%


Streaming service costs have risen in general: an Apple TV+ subscription is up 28.6 percent, while Apple Music is up 9 percent.

Sources: Kayak airfare data based on available fares as of 1/8 through Oct 25. Data on annual product price increases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Agriculture and the American Farm Bureau Federation, an industry group.

Niraj Chokshi, Julie Creswell Spirit Jordan Holman contributed reporting.

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