PHOENIX — Arizona shoppers are going to benefit for Thanksgiving this year because of some competition among supermarkets.
The latest survey by the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation finds that the average price of a 16-pound turkey is 73 cents a pound. That compares 84 cents last year -- and 89 cents the year before that.
But here’s the thing.
Farm Bureau spokeswoman Julie Murphree said the wholesale price of turkeys actually is higher this year. What’s happening, she said, is grocers, anxious to get shoppers in the door, are offering the birds pretty much as loss-leaders.
And Murphree said there are even better deals out there for shoppers who have a grocery chain’s affinity card.
For example, Fry’s is offering its own Kroger brand turkey at 68 cents a pound for those who show its rewards card. And Basha’s has an identical price on Norbest birds.
Overall, however, Farm Bureau shoppers figure that the cost of a typical Thanksgiving feast for a family of 10 will be $42.68. That’s about 9 percent more than the $39.17 price tag last year.
What’s causing a big chunk of that increase is the cost of sweet potatoes. The average price this year is $4.80, an increases of nearly 35 percent from a year ago.
Murphree said the price spike appears to be weather related, with farmers in areas where the tubers are traditionally grown having to deal with freezing weather.
Less clear is a reason for the higher prices for a 12-pack of brown and serve rolls which went from $2 in 2018 to $3.74 this year.
Adding to the additional bottom line this year were higher prices for everything from pumpkin pie mix to a one-pound vegetable tray of carrots and celery.
For the first time this year, the Farm Bureau also priced out some alternatives, things like ham which, while not the first thing people think of for Thanksgiving, does wind up on some holiday tables. But the fact this is a new item means no comparison to prior years.