The U.S., like other countries, is facing supply chain issues that could have an impact on how our usual Thanksgiving celebrations look. From shortages of beer to issues with turkey size and an increase in prices, consumers are being warned to be prepared and to shop early where possible.
What is Causing Supply Chain Issues?
It is worth pointing out that supply chain issues are not only being felt here in the U.S. It is a global-wide problem that has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and new lockdowns in parts of China where there has been a resurgence of Covid-19. Fuel costs have risen sharply since the global economy reopened after the pandemic, with the demand surging. Fuel suppliers have struggled to keep up with demand, which has led to increased prices.
The cost of energy has also risen thanks in part to the war in Ukraine. Sanctions placed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine have led European countries to scale back their dependence on Russian gas. Refusing to buy Russian gas means that the global gas supply has dropped despite demand staying high, which has inevitably led to higher wholesale prices. Panic buying of gas to avoid further sanctions and a further drop in supplies is just making the problem worse.
How Will This Affect Thanksgiving?
With increased fuel and energy costs and supplies from China being stuck in a backlog, it might be harder for Americans to get what they want for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Although you may still be able to get a turkey for Thanksgiving, you might struggle to get the size you want, particularly if you are looking for a bird between 8 and 16 pounds (this according to an article in the Business Insider). With many people still avoiding large gatherings because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, smaller birds are in much demand. Experts are saying that you should shop early to avoid disappointment.
Supply chain issues are also affecting beer production, with rising inflation affecting things like conical brewing and shipping. According to Houston-based CedarStoneIndustry, rising energy costs is affecting the production of the aluminum cans needed for brewing while a shortage of carbon dioxide is also having a major impact. While you might not see a shortage of beer before Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will probably have to pay more for it.
Those who are planning to travel to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones might also notice the impact of rising energy prices, with airplane tickets costing more and availability reduced thanks to cancelled flights caused by staff shortages. Even those who are travelling distances by car are set to be affected, with gas prices up more than 60% in the last year alone.
Is There Anything You Can Do?
While there is not much you can do about rising energy prices and global shortages, changing your expectations means you can still enjoy Thanksgiving. Yes, there may be some favorites that you cannot find this year, but there should still be plenty of alternatives.
Buying early can help to ensure that you have everything you need to enjoy the season. Thanksgiving and Christmas can be an expensive time of year and with inflation causing prices to rise, it might be wise to avoid some of the items you normally buy.
If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, ask guests to contribute by bringing dessert or some sides. Guests might also be encouraged to bring their own alcoholic drinks so that the entire cost is not on you. As a final note, why not consider foregoing the turkey this year and buy a chicken or ham instead.