Consumer Products

These Are the Places Your Thanksgiving Meal Comes From

Thanksgiving has always been the primary American holiday for family and friends to gather. According to the AAA, over 53 million people will travel over the holiday weekend. That is a bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

LendEDU did a study of how much the average person spends on Thanksgiving. The answer was $186.05, of which about 80% goes to food, drinks and other costs for the big dinner.

According to The New York Times, this year Thanksgiving will be the most expensive on record, particularly when it comes to the cost of food. The paper reported:

Nearly every component of the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, from the disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan to the coffee and pie, will cost more this year, according to agricultural economists, farmers and grocery executives.


In fact, food costs are part of the jump in inflation that showed up in the new Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Prices rose 6.2% in October, compared to the same month last year. This is the highest increase since November 1990.

Chef’s Pencil recently released results of a study about where the food for the holiday comes from. The foodie magazine said: “We turned to the USDA website to find the top producing states for some of Thanksgiving’s most popular ingredients.”

Minnesota is the largest producer of turkey, just ahead of Arkansas and North Carolina.

Idaho, famous for its potatoes, was the leading producer of that Thanksgiving staple, followed by Washington. The three states that top sweet potato production are North Carolina, California and Mississippi.

One state dominates green bean production: Wisconsin. That state is also a leading producer of cranberries, along with Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon. One state is a huge source of pumpkins: “Illinois is the pumpkin capital of the US, producing more than the next six states combined.” Meanwhile, Washington tops the state list for apple production, and the top state for pecans is Georgia.

Almost all brussels sprouts come from California. The leader in field corn is Iowa, but the leader in sweet corn is Washington. And the top cheese producer is Wisconsin.

Click here to see the cost of a Thanksgiving meal the year you were born.