2 min read
thanksgiving turkey on a platter

Historically, prices for whole turkeys and turkey breasts increase as the holiday season approaches. In late 2021 and into 2022, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) hit domestic turkey producers hard. An estimated six million + turkeys died prematurely due to HPAI this season. This has caused an impending shortage of turkeys to be ready for the Thanksgiving table in 2022.

These turkey shortages combined with inflationary forces are pushing whole turkey prices significantly higher than last year, up 35 percent. This is much higher than the average price between 2016-2020. Frozen turkey breast prices are also at an all-time high, up 80 percent from last year. That is over twice the 2016-2020 average price.

The price of turkey is expected to continue to rise through November into December. Also, distributors are emptying freezers at record rates trying to keep up with demand. If you plan on having a whole bird turkey this Thanksgiving, and you can find one, it is better to buy one now rather than later. Waiting to purchase a turkey will cost you more tomorrow than it will today. Thankfully, turkey breasts seem to have reached a price plateau for now, maintaining the same level for several months. However, the supply is still tight and may eventually push those prices even higher as well.

Turkey- Whole Prices graph

Prices for whole turkeys are up 35 percent and are expected to increase.

 

Turkey Breast Prices graph

Turkey breasts are at an all-time high at over 80 percent above last year’s prices.

More Information

Supply shortages and increased costs due to inflation are quickly impacting to the rest of the Thanksgiving menu as well. The result is the price of your family Thanksgiving meal is likely to increase significantly above last year. For more information, see What Do Rising Food Prices Mean for Thanksgiving?

Did you find this helpful?