Prepare your pocketbooks: Why this Thanksgiving may break the bank for consumers

Business

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about which university Simon Croom works for. He is a professor at University of San Diego and the story has been corrected.

SAN DIEGO – Millions of Americans already are preparing for their big Thanksgiving feast. But experts warn they also should prepare their pocketbooks for one of the most expensive holiday dinners on record.

Experts say prices are up roughly 15% across the board for Thanksgiving trimmings and that consumers should plan to pay an additional 20% for a turkey. It comes amid a series of disruptions to the supply chain brought on by the pandemic as well as global energy shortages that are driving prices up, according to Simon Croom, a professor of supply chain management at the University of San Diego.

The result is higher reported prices for turkeys and other items, which are sure to catch some consumers by surprise when they wheel a cart up to the checkout counter this coming week.

“We’ll certainly feel that squeeze,” Croom said. “At Thanksgiving, we tend to be a little more mindful of the experience than the cost, but I think it’s gonna be a bit of a shock. The holiday season, as we get up to Christmas, will be even more of a challenge for us from a supply chain perspective as well.”

Croom added that these supply chain issues are increasingly complex and global.

“We’ve got shortages of things like Christmas trees, of meat products, of gifts, of electronics, of cars,” he said. “When you add on to that there are still production shutdowns due to two things: Primarily, one is energy, which is a big crisis affecting most of the world at the moment. And lockdowns due to COVID because COVID has not gone away.”

Speaking to FOX 5 Wednesday, local resident Katie Charter said she’s seen price increases this year ranging from gas to the items available in stores. As a result, she said she’ll probably end up buying less.

“It will be sad if I don’t get turkey on Thanksgiving,” Charter said, “but it’s something I could deal with.”

But this year could be an adjustment for some people, according to Croom.

“We’re so used to excesses that in a period of scarcity, consumers have got to adapt to that,” he said.

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