Thanksgiving will cost you more this year; Tower Chicken says turkeys up $0.30/pound

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- If it feels like groceries are costing more, they are. Customers in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond will pay more for their Thanksgiving dinners this year.

Greg Schmidt, the owner and manager at Tower Chicken, said he's been preparing for Thanksgiving for several months.

"I'll be selling 900 turkeys in three days," Schmidt said. "In order for me to get my turkeys this year, I had to have my order in by Feb. 15."

Schmidt said the turkey supply is good, but his customers may not be so thankful for the Thanksgiving price increases. He said turkey is currently $2.79 per pound. That's up from $2.49 per pound last year, an increase in 30 cents per pound.

"The costs are just going up and going up and going up," he said. "How well that's gonna go over with the customers, I don't know. I hope they understand. It's not something that I did. It's something that everybody else did."

His costs are on par with national trends. Several factors are driving up prices, including labor shortages, transportation costs and the supply chain disruption.

"All the food items (in) the Thanksgiving basket are actually up in price," said Dr. Marko Bastl, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Marquette University. "As consumers, we will pay more than we paid the previous year."

Dr. Bastl said food costs rose about 3 percent since 2020.

"Last year, most of dinners were actually held at home. We were still socially distancing. There were no vaccines. So we are anticipating the increase in demand for these goods," he said.

For customers looking to buy their Thanksgiving turkeys at Tower Chicken, Schmidt said they can expect lines out the door the week of Thanksgiving.

He said customers will have their pick of birds on Monday, Nov. 22 or Tuesday, Nov. 23. But by Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, he may be out of certain sizes of turkeys.

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