Thanksgiving with a hefty price tag: Turkey prices up 24% in 2021

November 23, 2021

Lexie Petrovic

HOLLAND, Mich. — You might be noticing higher prices on food items at the grocery store lately.Turkey is no exception ahead of Thanksgiving 2021. This is due to a worker shortage, higher transportation costs, and supply-chain disruptions, among other reasons, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.The organization conducted a survey in which shoppers checked prices at stores from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, about two weeks before grocery chains started featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices.

The results found that the cost of this year's Thanksgiving feast for a family of ten is $53.31, about a 14% increase from 2020.But Thanksgiving turkey is really seeing a jump in price this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation found that a 16-pound bird will cost about $23.99, up 24% from last year.“As a farmer, as a grower, we don’t control that price, the market controls that price," Ben Randle, manager of GDW Farms, said. "With grain prices up, our price for feed has gone up quite a bit. That probably is something to do with turkey prices up.”GDW Farms, located in Holland, is part of Michigan Turkey Producers which has been around for more than 20 years.

70% of Michigan turkey farms are located in Ottawa County.

“Michigan turkey in general has about a $100 million impact on the state of Michigan," Randle said. "Buying at home helps everyone-- buyers, growers, and consumers.”Michigan turkey farms only produce toms, which average about 40 pounds and are bigger than your typical Thanksgiving dinner turkey. Michigan farmers offer other turkey products like ground turkey, turkey sausage, turkey breasts, sliced turkey, etc.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state yet again this Thanksgiving, turkey breast may offer a more convenient alternative for families hosting smaller gatherings this year. They are sold at stores like Costco and Gordon Foods.While turkey isn't top of mind for most people 11 months out of the year, Michigan turkey farmers are busy year-round making turkey products.The total annual turkey production in Michigan is about 5.3 million birds.

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Michigan Allied Poultry Industries is a producer-led organization that serves and represents over 50 Michigan family-owned poultry farms with more than 15 million laying hens, 6 million chicken broilers, and 5.3 million turkeys represented.  Michigan Allied Poultry is committed to the advancement and prosperity of the poultry industry through advocacy, education and development.

Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Inc.
PO Box 144
Hamilton, MI 49419
Office: 517.372.5250