Holiday Food and Fuel Prices Worth Being Thankful For

Fuel prices are lower, food price increases are average compared to last year.

This Thanksgiving, U.S. consumers can be thankful for the prices of food and fuel.

Food and beverage prices are up 2.6% going into the holiday, about an average increase, while fuel prices - both gasoline and natural gas - are much lower.

"We've seen a decline in dairy prices. Milk and butter are much cheaper this year than they were even two years ago," says Corinne Alexander. "We've also seen an increase in the cattle herd nationwide, so beef prices have moderated. And while there has been hot weather that has damaged fruit and vegetable crops, we haven't had the same number of hurricanes this year as we've had in recent years. So that's helped in terms of fruit and vegetable prices."

Turkey supplies are tight across the country, Alexander says, although turkey production is a little ahead of last year. Consumers have more free-range and organic turkey options this year as well.

"A new trend is pastured poultry," Alexander says. "A consumer can go to a farm and choose their bird while it is walking around the pasture, watch it grow up and then it becomes their Thanksgiving bird."

Meanwhile, energy prices are considerably lower than last year's for the travel-heavy Thanksgiving weekend.

"Your Thanksgiving travel will be a lot more affordable. At the same time natural gas prices are also lower, so if you've got a stove powered by natural gas it will cost less to cook your turkey," Alexander says.

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