Hold the gravy: Thanksgiving dinner is a pricey one for Canadians this year

Oct 4 2022, 11:15 pm

Almost a quarter of Canadians are making changes to their Thanksgiving dinner because of higher food prices.

This is according to a cross-national survey from Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, which investigated what Canadians intend to prepare and cook for the holiday.

While most QuĂ©bĂ©cois don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, nine-in-10 Canadians in other regions do.

However, the continued increased cost of groceries is inhibiting some folks from going all out this year.

The latest report from Statistics Canada found food prices bought from stores continued to spike in August at 10.8%, rising at its fastest pace since 1981.

Dalhousie University

While about 22% of Canadians say they will be switching up their dinner menu, this is especially likely in BC (29%), Alberta (25%), and lower-income households that earn below $50,000 a year (30%), the lab added.

“Higher food prices are clearly changing plans for many people this year,” said Dr. Sylvain

Charlebois, Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. “This is our first time measuring intent of Canadians for Thanksgiving, but you can sense that food inflation is putting some pressure on dinner tables these days.”

Rising cost of ingredients prompts swaps


PERO studio/Shutterstock

This year, some are considering swapping out the traditional Thanksgiving turkey for other animal protein sources like ham, beef or chicken.

In the last year, there has been about a 15 to 16% increase per kilogram for turkey, Agri-Food Analytics Lab said.

Here is how the prices for other thanksgiving mainstays have changed in the last year:

  • Potatoes increased by 22%
  • Frozen corn increased by 6%
  • Bread, in general, has increased by 13%
  • Cranberries increased by 12%
  • And dairy and butter increased by 13%

The lab clarifies that these are only estimates since some prices will vary based on location, size of packages, and point of purchase.

Ranking of Thanksgiving dishes

Bourbon butter turkey (BC Liquor Stores)

When picturing a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we are sure there are a few dishes that come to mind.

But what is most important?

Well, 62% of Canadians rank the turkey as the #1 most essential for Thanksgiving dinner.

In second comes stuffing, and potatoes follow in third place.

And, of course, pumpkin pie continues to have a special place in Canadians’ hearts as the favourite Thanksgiving dessert.

A total of 1,244 Canadians were consulted on September 30, 2022, for this survey.

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