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Record-high turkey prices hit Western New Yorkers’ pockets this holiday weekend

The average holiday bird is 21% more expensive this year due to inflation and an avian flu outbreak.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As Western New Yorkers rush to stores like Wegmans and Tops for last minute Thanksgiving shopping, the price tag of sitting down to dinner at Thanksgiving is at a 37-year high.

“I think it's sad because I feel like around this time especially we should have affordable food for everyone so that everyone can eat,” Leasah Deleon told 2 On Your Side. 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, prices across the table have gone up this year with stuffing mix rising by 69%, pumpkin pie mix rising by 18% and the main attraction rising 21% with the average 16-pound bird going from about $24 to $29.  

“I think that's ridiculous,” Daniella Deleon said. “Simply because Thanksgiving is a time for thanks and family.”

Experts are pointing to inflation causing food prices to rise by 12% this year, and to an avian flu outbreak, which killed 7 million turkeys ahead of the holiday.

“It's really created a supply problem,” said Charles Lindsey, Associate Professor of Marketing at University of Buffalo. “When supply goes down and demand stays the same, prices go up

But if you’ve forgotten an ingredient or two, have no fear. Experts say there are solutions such as using price tracking apps like basket and flip or switching out your favorite brand-name product for a more affordable alternative. 

“People, I think this year especially, want to have it all,” Lindsey said. “It's been a tough couple of years. And in order to have it all, sometimes you have to make trade-offs.”

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