Retro Woman with Turkey - © unknown via Pintrest

Double Whammy: Paying More To Give Thanks for Less

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner could cost 25 percent more this year. Inflation continues to drive food prices up. And some folks at the bottom of the economic ladder say their food budgets aren’t going far enough anymore, as it is…

1950 Christmas dinner - © retro annon. - via PintrestA traditional ‘Turkey Day’ family feast c. 1950. So much has changed since then…

That’s a classic double whammy. And we’ve explored its whys and wherefores before in this space. But the relentlessly busy Dalhousie University Agri-Food Analytics Lab (AFAL) has already released another study – this one putting the story in a stark persective.

The perspective…

Canadian Thanksgving is always on the second Monday in October. We’re just enough farther north that ‘harvest time’ comes that much earlier. Not to mention that we’re more aligned to British and Commonwealth observances than we are to U.S. ones. One Canadian tradition that’s evolved in relatively recent times is the annual report on the cost of the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, as tabulated by the AFAL. And for the first time in many years, we’re paying more to give thanks for less.

Numbers don’t lie

AFAL front man, Lab Director Sylvain Charlebois, had a long talk with CTV National News yesterday, and his revelations about Thanksgiving 2022 are real eye-openers.

Statistics Canada published figures back on September 20 showing the cost of everything we traditionally serve for Thanksgiving Dinner are up – some alarmingly. Stats Can reported that inflation was up 10.8 percent year over year as of the middle of this month. And across-the-board food price increases were up more than double that. The AFAL then came in and isolated the foods we normally use in our Thanksgiving Dinner and found that subset of the supermarket menu is up almost 5 percent more than the average.

Granted, there are some specialty items on the festive feast shopping list – like turkey, cranberries, a ‘better’ bottle of wine, up-scale veggies – that are up even more than basics.

Here’s a rundown…

… Of the core essentials:

Turkey: Up 15 percent compared to a year ago; 22 percent compared to 2020

Potatoes: Up 22 percent compared to last year; 26 percent compared to 2020.

Frozen Corn: Up six percent from last year, but only 1 percent compared to 2020.

Bread: Up 13 per cent compared to last year; 21 per cent compared to 2020.

Turnips: Only two percent more expensive this year than last, but 26 per cent more compared to 2020.

Cranberries: Up 12 percent compared to last year; 14 percent more expensive compared to 2020

Butter: Up 13 per cent compared to last year; 25 percent compared to March 2020.

The double whammy

“People are getting less for their money to feed themselves at Thanksgiving. A lot of people are struggling out there,” Charlebois told Monday.

He added that seven percent of Canadians surveyed by the lab earlier this month admitted to skipping meals due to higher food prices.

And the news may be even wore, depending on that you consider essential for your family feast. Charlebois says holiday discounts will be as much as 10 percent thinner than we saw last year. Just token deals, really. And there will be fewer of them.

That makes it a triple whammy!

~ Maggie J.