ATLANTA (CBS46) — Prices for just about everything are on the rise, including food.

It means Americans are paying more now than ever before for Thanksgiving dinner. The toll for turkey, especially, is trending upward.

“It’s going to be an expensive Thanksgiving,” one shopper said. “Turkey is not going to cost like the way it was.”

Shoppers are feeling the strain on their wallets. In October, the price of food increased by 5.4% compared to 2020. Meat, poultry and fish are seeing a nearly 12% increase. 

“My money is not enough,” another shopper said.

Production of turkeys has been on the decline for a few years. When you couple that with more people eating at home this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and a massive return to family gatherings this holiday, you get a supply crunch.

“It’s causing prices to go up,” Kevin Bergquist said.

Bergquist tracks the poultry industry for Wells Fargo Bank. He says hatching more turkeys isn’t the problem, it’s producing those turkeys for your dinner table.

“Every employer I talk to, doesn’t matter if it’s turkey or anything else – first thing they say, ‘Labor. Man we can not find enough workers’,” Bergquist said.

As a result Bergquist says wholesale turkey prices are up 20% or more year over year, and up 75% from a few years ago. It’s up to individual grocers how much of the burden is passed on to consumers.

“Sky high prices,” a shopper said. “I used to shop based on what I liked. Now I shop based on prices and what I can afford.”

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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