Supply Chain issues are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations

  • The price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs increased by about 12% from a year ago.
  • Turkey’s prices have risen by about 13% from two years ago.
  • The rise in meat prices has been the main driver of overall food inflation, said an agricultural economist.

These Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners will cost much more this year, with a rise in meat prices leading to an overall jump in food prices.

According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs increased from last month by about 12% from a year ago. Pork prices increased by 14.1% and beef prices increased by 20.1%.

Turkey’s prices have risen by about 13% from two years ago before the pandemic hit.

The rise in meat prices has been the primary driver of overall food inflation, wrote Jayson Lusk, head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University at EconoFact, a non-partisan publication analyzing economic and social issues.

He noted that prices of beef, pork and chicken were 26.2%, 19.2% and 14.8% higher in October 2021 respectively than before the January 2020 pandemic.

“Prices for some meat products have actually reached the highest levels recorded, even after adjusting for total inflation,” Lusk said.

The rise in food prices comes as several factors – including supply chain disruptions, wage increases in the food sector, rising prices for agricultural products and strong consumer demand – converge.

“Meat price increases were originally caused by supply disruptions when parcel factories closed after workers received COVID19,” Lusk explained in the post. “Packing is fully resumed, but there are still additional costs from socially distant workers and the addition of personal protective equipment.”

It all leads to the most significant annual grocery price increases in a decade and the highest annual restaurant price increases since the early 1980s, Lusk wrote.

“Food prices have been extraordinarily volatile throughout the pandemic,” he added.

Also to dampen the festive cheers is one lack of vibrant Christmas trees as climate change has decimated crops in Oregon, where most of the country’s supply of trees is grown. Even artificial trees have been hit due to the shipping and supply chain crisis, the American Christmas Tree Association said.

But ACTA believes there is a solution. They encourage consumers to overcome the rush for trees by buying ahead of time.

“Buying a Christmas tree early does not mean it has to sit in the garage or sit undressed until after Thanksgiving,” Jami Warner, ACTA’s CEO, said in a post.

“A Halloween or Thanksgiving tree is a great way for consumers to get into the festive spirit this year,” she added.

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