THANKSGIVING PRICES UP SLIGHTLY
WASHINGTON — A traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings rose slightly, by 1.3% this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual analysis. The AFBF's 25th annual price survey found that the average cost of a Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 would be $43.47, a 56-cent price increase from last year's average of $42.91, AFBF noted in a release. The group found that whole turkeys were actually cheaper at retail this year, with a 16-pound bird costing an average of $17.66 — a decrease of about 6 cents per pound compared with 2009. “Turkey prices are down some this year despite the fact that, according to Agriculture Department estimates, turkey production has been slightly lower in 2010 than in 2009 and supplies of turkey in cold storage are below last year's level,” said John Anderson, an AFBF economist. “This suggests that retailers are being fairly aggressive in featuring turkeys in special sales and promotions.” Other items showed notable increases from last year, including whole milk, pumpkin pie mix, pie shells, whipping cream, sweet potatoes, carrots and celery, and rolls. “Some of the Thanksgiving dinner items have rebounded from quite low price levels in 2009,” Anderson said.
NFVA ISSUES PRODUCE REPORT CARD
HOCKESSIN, Del. — The average American's produce consumption is far below recommended levels, with only 6% of U.S. consumers achieving their recommended daily intake of vegetables and only 8% reaching the target for fruit, according to the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance's 2010 National Action Plan. The plan includes a report card that evaluates progress made by schools, restaurants, food retailers and federal and state governments on implementing strategies suggested in the 2005 NAP for increasing produce consumption, according to a release from the Produce for Better Health Foundation here. “Resolving our public health crisis depends on the consistent success and efforts of the many stakeholders involved in America's food choices and eating habits,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of PBH. “Both public and private sectors have a vital role to play in making increased fruit and vegetable consumption a reality for all Americans.” The WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers program, introduced last year as part of the federal supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, received an “A” grade in the report. And, school food and restaurant menus — credited with making some progress toward greater availability of healthy options — received a “C.” But, the healthy food advertising category received a failing grade, with the report arguing that nutritious food advertising has declined during the past five years. To increase U.S. consumption of produce, the report recommends increasing the accessibility of fruits and vegetables in schools, restaurants, and communities with little retail access to fresh produce; strengthening nutrition education programs and promotion efforts; and aligning federal funding priorities with federal dietary guidelines.
IPC HANDBOOK OFFERS PRODUCE IDEAS
EAGLE, Idaho — The Idaho Potato Commission has issued its annual Retailer Support Guides, which include category management analyses for retail produce managers, examples of the POS materials that IPC makes available to retailers, and details, dates and prize information for the commission's annual February Potato Lover's Month retail display contest. The annual guide also includes calendars highlighting IPC's consumer media plans, public relations plans and tie-in programs, to help department managers synchronize their in-store promotion efforts with IPC's national and regional efforts. For a copy, contact Brittnie Poston at (208) 334-2350.