Thanksgiving turkey prices set to hit record high this year, NYC grocery chain CEO warns

Just as many Americans are beginning to compile their shopping lists for Thanksgiving dinner, a New York City Manager of a grocery chain warned that the main course could upset your budget gravy boat.

“This Thanksgiving, no change, highest price ever for turkeys, highest price ever for your Thanksgiving dinner,” said John Catsimatidis, CEO of Gristedes Foods and United Refining Company.Varney & Co.” Tuesday.

The CEO’s comments come as economists are signaling that it could be cheaper for Americans to eat out on Thanksgiving than to cook at home this year.

according to a recent Wells Fargo report“Is this the year to eat out for Thanksgiving?”, the cost of staple foods from poultry to fruit will outpace the total cost of home and away-from-home groceries in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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According to analysts at Wells Fargo, prices for Turkey alone are expected to increase by up to 23% compared to the fourth quarter of last year Authors of the reportCourtney Schmidt and Brad Rubin.

Grocery store turkeys for Thanksgiving

John Catsimatidis, CEO of Gristedes Foods, is urging Americans to prepare for “the highest prices for turkeys” on “Varney & Co.” Tuesday, November 15, 2022. (Getty Images)

They also warned that turkey supplies will be “more limited” due to the ongoing impact of highly pathogenic bird flu.

“Turkey prices have skyrocketed after bird flu wiped out livestock earlier this year. While inventories have recovered, the cost per pound will be higher,” the authors noted.

In the meantime, egg prices have also risen affected by bird fluare already up 32.5%, while butter and flour are up 25.8% and 17.1%, respectively, according to analysts, who used August CPI data to show cost increases since November 2021.

Fruit and vegetables have had the lowest cost increase so far, with a price increase of 7.3%.

Almost a year ago, Catsimatidis predicted that rising food prices and decades of inflation “here to stay‘ and had said manufacturers are ‘panic’ as food, energy and transport costs rise.

The Labor Department reported last week that the CPI, a broad price measure of basic necessities including gasoline, groceries and rent, up 0.4% in October from the previous month. Prices increased by 7.7% on an annual basis.

Frozen turkeys at Whole Foods

Some grocers are hosting Thanksgiving dinners or turkey specials to combat decades of inflation. (Getty Images)

Catsimatidis’ comments contradict The Federal Reservewhich has largely stuck to its belief that inflation is “temporary” and past its peak as the bank embarked on one of its most aggressive tightening trajectories in decades.

“Jay Powell did his job,” Catsimatidis told host Stuart Varney on Tuesday. “He did a great job destroying the real estate industry instead of Washington solving the problem.”

Meanwhile, Americans may see some price relief as they look for alternatives or shop from chains that are publicly cracking down on inflation and adjusting their prices on Thanksgiving staples like in previous years Aldi’s, Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

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“Saving money is a top priority for our customers right now, so this year we’re eliminating inflation on a whole basket of traditional Thanksgiving items,” said John Laney, executive vice president of food at Walmart US, in a blog post.

“Offering amazing products at the absolute lowest prices is what we’ve always done and we know that’s more important now than ever,” Dave Rinaldo, president of Aldi US, also said in a statement.

In addition to higher prices on grocery shelves, Catsimatidis, which also owns D’Agonisto supermarkets in New York City, claimed shoplifting was “higher than usual” this year.

“We hired more security guards, more retired NYPD, to prevent this from happening, as opposed to the national chains — they’re not street fighters,” Catsimatidis said. “They don’t know how to deal with it [crime] issue in New York City.”

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FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese, Megan Henney and Catie Perry contributed to this report.

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