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Holiday dinner prices increase over last year despite slowing inflation

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Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner prices are nearly 20% higher than they were in 2021.

Despite slowing food inflation, the price of a Christmas meal will be approximately 7% higher this year compared to 2022.

According to new analysis from Category Partners using grocery data from NielsenIQ, a basic Christmas dinner for a family of four purchased from a supermarket in 2023 will cost approximately $50.56, compared to $47.25 in 2022. However, even with slower price inflation, prices remain 18.5% higher than at Christmas 2021.

The national NielsenIQ supermarket data shows that for the total supermarket prices this year are up 6.6%, though price increases vary significantly by category. Seafood (-1.7%), produce (+2.2%) and meat (+2.4%) have had negative or slower than average price inflation over the past year while overall grocery prices (+10.5%) and bakery (+9.5%) show higher than average price inflation.

"Slowing food price inflation across the supermarket is good news for consumers," said Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners. "The data confirms that while prices remain elevated the alarming food price inflation we saw two years ago has moderated. Inflation is a constant concern as consumers try to make ends meet. The slower than average inflation in the produce, meat and seafood departments means consumers could be a little more merry this season.”

As an example from Category Partners’ analysis, the average price per pound for beef steak is $9.43 per pound, up 6.8% compared to last year. Comparatively, the price for beef brisket is $4.52, down -1.0% from last year.

Full year-over-year (52 weeks through Dec. 2, 2023) price changes include the following:

  • Grocery: 10.5%
  • Bakery: 9.5%
  • Frozen: 7.8%
  • Dairy: 6.8%
  • Floral: 5.0%
  • Deli: 5.0%
  • Meat: 2.4%
  • Produce: 2.2%
  • Seafood: -1.7%
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