IRI: Thanksgiving Meal Cost Up 13.5% Since Last Year

The data group's latest numbers show that consumers will pay more for items in every Thanksgiving meal category as the holiday approaches.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be 13.5% more expensive than last year, according to IRI.

The data firm’s 2022 Thanksgiving Tracker report sheds light on what categories have increased most in price in the last year. Increased food prices due to inflation has led many Americans to switch to private brands. Two private label-centric retailers, Aldi and Lidl, recently announced major deals to help customers save on their holiday gatherings.

“Despite the significant impact of inflation, consumers are excited to return to pre-pandemic holiday celebrations, and many will be participating in the Thanksgiving holiday by purchasing the same amount of groceries as they typically do,” said Alastair Steel, executive, IRI Client Engagement. “This year, consumers are planning further ahead for Thanksgiving than ever before, picking up staple items as they see promotions that fit within their budgets. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving will be a tremendous opportunity for CPG brands and grocery retailers, and recent data will empower optimization on promotions and advertising strategies for key products.”

IRI’s report says that 38% of consumers expect to pay more for groceries this Thanksgiving, but plan on purchasing the same amount of food. Of the 13.5% total increase in the price of a Thanksgiving meal, pies (+20.3%), sides (+18.8%) and baking products (+11.1%) have increased the most since 2021. Meat increased 8.1%, and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are up 5.8% since last year.

According to the report, more shoppers say they will start their Thanksgiving shopping earlier than usual due to inflation, with many planning to host normal and larger gatherings again. Gen Z and millennials under age 32 who plan to host will average 9.8 guests, more than the overall average of 7.4 people.

23% of Millennials and Gen X consumers said they are worried that inflation might make them unable to afford their usual holiday celebrations, compared to 10% of older consumers surveyed by IRI. Consumers across the board (33%) will look for deals on Thanksgiving items and make purchases based on sales and if they have a coupon available.

The IRI Thanksgiving Tracker can be found here.