With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is not the news you want to hear: Turkey prices have reached a record.
Retailers are paying roughly 21 percent more for the popular Thanksgiving bird this year than they did in 2014 and the turkeys are smaller, Bloomberg reports.
“Wholesale, fresh turkey hens surged 18 percent from a year earlier to a record $1.5993 a pound as of Nov. 6, and frozen turkeys were up 5.6 percent at $1.309 a pound, after touching an all-time high of $1.385 a week earlier,” Bloomberg said.
Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, wiped out a whopping 8 million turkeys earlier this year. The outbreak of the disease also pushed many farmers to sell their turkeys earlier than normal, so many of the birds available to consumers this Thanksgiving are smaller than average, according to Bloomberg.
Avian flu also led to an increase in the price of eggs this year.
Though turkey prices are up, you may not notice a big difference in your holiday grocery bill. Many stores absorb the increase so consumers won’t be tempted to shop elsewhere, according to The Huffington Post.
Purdue University agricultural economist Corinne Alexander said that despite a potential increase in what you’ll pay for turkey this Thanksgiving, the other items on your holiday menu should be on par with what you paid last year, AgriNews reports.
Alexander said that for people living on a fixed-income or struggling financially, any increase in the price of food can be devastating to their budget.
“For these families, any food price rise is significant,” Alexander said. “We should remember those who are less fortunate and share our food bounty.”
Americans eat about 49 million turkeys during their Thanksgiving holiday feast.