Thanksgiving Dinner: Supply Chain Issues And Price Inflation

by | Nov 23, 2021


Amid well-publicized supply chain issues, Americans are bracing for a holiday shopping season afflicted by ongoing disruptions in shipping, labor, and consumer prices. But will Thanksgiving be affected too? Will shoppers be met with empty grocery shelves as they prepare their Thanksgiving dinners, or is the supply chain crunch still in the future?

Premise sent more than 600 Americans into grocery stores to learn about the state of Thanksgiving staples across the US. We asked our Contributors to report on the price and availability of Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pie. 

As of 11/21, here is what we learned regarding Thanksgiving grocery shopping pricing: 

  • 22% of respondents said that their entire Thanksgiving meal grocery basket is more expensive than they expected
    • 22% of respondents said that whole turkey prices are more than they expected
    • 20% of respondents said that pumpkin pie prices are more than they expected
    • 17% of respondents said that canned cranberry sauce prices are more than they expected
    • 16% of respondents said that gravy prices are more than they expected
    • 15% of respondents said that stuffing prices are more than they expected

We also examined how flexible shoppers were in the face of restricted supply. For example, 62% of the respondents said they would buy the store brand if they couldn’t find the stuffing brand they intended to buy.

Additionally, more than half (51%) of the respondents said the turkey display is completely full, with plenty available (75-100% stocked). 59% of the respondents also said the stuffing display is completely full. Although the prices are still surging, the supply chain issues had not seemed to significantly impact the availability of Thanksgiving dinner ingredients through Sunday, November 21st. 

Due to inflation, you might be dealing with a pricier Thanksgiving dinner, and you might have to find alternatives for some of your favorite dishes. 

Ken Cassar, Premise’s Head of Commercial, stated, “Thanksgiving stock levels are generally holding as we approach Thanksgiving, with the strongest in-stock performance for potatoes and sweet potatoes. Shoppers that planned ahead and shopped early are likely to be in great shape. However, we are seeing the inevitable depletion of inventory as we get closer to Wednesday that is going to leave some Thanksgiving cooks scrambling for key supplies.”