Thanksgiving dinners in Wisconsin are both delicious and cheap this year, costing less than $5 per person, but this could mean lower profits for Wisconsin’s grocers.
According to a Wisconsin Farm Bureau survey, the total price of a Thanksgiving meal in 2016 is less than $48 to feed 10 people. This is just $2 below the national average of $50. But Wisconsin Grocers Association President and CEO Brandon Scholz said this would lower profits for grocers.
Prices are at their lowest since 2010, according to the survey.
The survey analyzed consumer consumption and prices of a number of foods typically eaten around Turkey Day. It found that Wisconsin’s average price for a 16-pound turkey is $21.92, which is down $1.44 from 2015, Amy Eckelberg spokesperson at Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, said.
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Eckelberg said turkey production has also increased compared to 2015, leading to lower prices. This is an 8 percent increase from production in 2015, which was down because of the avian influenza crisis in the Midwest.
“Our diverse agricultural economy provides a variety of local, fresh and affordable food — something to be thankful for this holiday,” Eckelberg said.
Grocers tend to price food items at the lowest possible value, which happens more around special holidays like Thanksgiving. Scholz said grocers create more deals on holiday meals and products so consumers believe they are getting the “most bang for their buck.”
But this means profit margins are lower for grocers. For the past six months, food prices have been steadily decreasing, which has put farmers in an even more difficult position. Because of this, farmers rely on customers returning and buying as much as they can, even if prices are low this holiday season, Scholz said.
“We hope people buy much more than they think they should buy,” Scholz said. “It’s always good when customers overbuy.”