MONEY & BUSINESS: Gen Zers trading turkey for pizza as Thanksgiving prices surge

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Pizza is expected to be a popular alternative to turkey at Thanksgiving dinners as hosts and guests alike face increasingly stiff prices for traditional staples, according to a survey.

Some 33% of people planning to celebrate “Friendsgiving” – a casual Thanksgiving party for friends popular among Millennials and Gen Z – said they would serve pizza this year, according to a survey conducted by online financial adviser Personal Capital. Just 24% said they planned to serve turkey.

Holiday-related financial anxiety was common among younger Americans, with 54% of Gen Z respondents and 51% of millennials saying they felt stressed about covering Thanksgiving costs. Conversely, just 33% of Gen Xers and 39% of Baby Boomers reported feeling financial stress.

Pizza is likely a cheaper alternative than buying for a traditional Thanksgiving spread. The cost of groceries surged 12.4% in October compared to the same month one year earlier, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index.

Pizza was more popular than turkey on a Thanksgiving survey.
Getty Images

Meanwhile, the price of turkeys has surged nearly 75% this year as a severe outbreak of avian flu devastates domestic production, according to USDA data. Other key items such as potatoes, butter and bread are also much more expensive than they were last year.

Inflation will likely result in an even higher cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year than last year’s record figure. The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 was $53.31 — the highest ever recorded, according to the American Farm Bureau.

Thanksgiving celebrators are planning to take a number of cost-cutting steps for their events this year, with 57% of respondents indicating they planned to keep their gatherings small to save money.

Turkey prices
Turkey prices have spiked after an avian flu outbreak.
Getty Images/EyeEm
Inflation is expected to drive Thanksgiving dinner costs to record highs.
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Additionally, 53% said they planned to make fewer dishes, while 52% plan to ask guests to contribute food or other supplies and 42% plan to ask for financial contributions.

“Gen Zers were the most likely to use all four strategies to keep costs down, while baby boomers were the least likely to ask guests to provide food, drinks, or money,” Personal Capital said in a blog post on its findings.

In total, about one in five Americans said they feared they wouldn’t have enough money to cover Thanksgiving costs. A whopping 88% of respondents said they were cutting at least one dish from their table this year.

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