Dec 24, 2022 - Economy

Inflation drives up price of Christmas dinner, eggnog

Illustration of a dollar sign made of christmas tree leaves, which fall off and grow back.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Your Christmas meals with all the fixings, including eggnog and ham, cost around 16.4% more than last year with inflation.

Why it matters: Nearly every ingredient in 2022 holiday feasts is more expensive — hit by inflation, supply chain interruptions and the avian flu, according to data from Datasembly and the Consumer Price Index.

Yes, but: Consumer price gains have been slowing and CPI rose 7.1% in the year ending in November, down from 7.7% in October's inflation report, the Labor Department said.

What they're saying: Some shoppers may have offset higher grocery bills with more modest gift budgets, Kristin Myers, editor in chief of The Balance, told Axios.

  • "Holiday staples like turkey, lettuce, and eggnog have all seen price spikes in the last few months, on top of other grocery essentials that have risen continually throughout the year," Myers said.

Christmas dinner 2022 prices

Context: Datasembly told Axios it collected the price of 13 products from four retailers — Albertsons, Kroger, Target and Walmart — on Dec. 12 to determine what holiday dinner was going to cost consumers this year.

  • The data company compared prices from data pulled on Dec. 13, 2021.

By the numbers: This year's basket totaled $60.29 on average compared to $51.79 last year for the same food items, a 16.4% increase, Datasembly found.

  • Biscuits rose the most between December 2021 and 2022 at 47.1%.
  • Butter was second highest at 37.9% with the price rising from $6.52 to $8.99. The CPI report found butter was up 27% in November from last year.
  • Cranberry sauce was 35.3% higher at $2.76, and a box of stuffing was 26.4% more.
  • Russet potatoes were up 32.6% with a cost of $1.18. The CPI report found potatoes overall increased 16.2% in November compared to last year.
  • Turkey prices, which were high ahead of Thanksgiving, are up 6.3%, Datasembly found.
  • Eggnog is 9.8% higher, and bone-in spiral-cut ham is 7.7% more.

Flashback: In 2021, Datasembly's holiday dinner basket increased 8.2% compared to 2020 prices.

Egg prices high

Between the lines: Eggs were not on Datasembly's Christmas items but have seen one of the largest price increases in 2022.

  • The November CPI report said prices were up 49.1% over November 2021.
  • The average price for a dozen large eggs was about $3.59 this November compared to $1.72 last November, federal data shows.

Demand for eggs due to holiday baking contributes to the prices, Russ Whitman, senior vice president with Urner Barry, recently told Axios NW Arkansas' Worth Sparkman.

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