Turkey’s cheaper, but side items could balance out those savings as you plan your Thanksgiving dinner

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Feel free to help yourself to seconds (or even thirds) this Thanksgiving. The price of the meal’s centerpiece should be a lot lower.

New data from Urner Barry, a leading provider of market information in the food industry for over 100 years, shows the average price of turkey is down 22% from last year, with an eight- to 16-pound bird now going for $1.27 per pound.

A recovery in the turkey population and a drop in avian flu cases has increased the available supply of birds, which has lowered prices. Those could go even lower as Thanksgiving gets closer, as many retailers use the birds as a loss leader to get shoppers into the store, where they’re likely to buy more than usual.

If you’re a vegetarian or someone who goes crazy with desserts, though, you might have a bit less to be thankful about. As turkey prices have fallen, the cost of select side dishes and desserts are on the rise. So the more elaborate a feast you put together, the less you’re likely to save.

Pumpkin and carrots have both seen price increases in the past year. Carrots are 19% more expensive, according to data from market insights provider Mintec, which acquired Urner Barry earlier this year. And pumpkin is a whopping 40% more, meaning dessert (and pumpkin bread) will come at a steeper cost in 2023.

Potatoes are a bright spot, though, with prices nearly half what they were a year ago. So go crazy when it comes to the carbs this year.

The Urner Barry data matches up with a report from Wells Fargo’s annual Agri-Food Intelligence report, which said consumers can expect “mixed relief” from food inflation this year, due to profit taking from grocery chains and some categories being lower, while others cost more.

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