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Despite inflation, Walmart CEO says Thanksgiving meal will cost less than last year

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(NEW YORK) — With just over one month remaining until Thanksgiving and the start of the winter holiday season, Americans are already eyeing grocery prices to gauge how much their festive gatherings are going to cost this year. But one major retailer is ignoring inflation in order to keep a traditional turkey dinner more affordable.

John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. — the largest retailer in the country — joined ABC News’ Good Morning America on Wednesday and, in an ABC News exclusive, revealed Walmart’s new plan to make Thanksgiving more affordable.

“Last Thanksgiving we decided we were going to sell a Thanksgiving meal at the same price as 2021,” Furner said of the strategy they implemented across other major holidays. “This year, finally, we are able to have the Thanksgiving basket that the prices are coming down versus a year ago — we are really proud to say that the price of a Thanksgiving meal is going to come down.”

This year, the Thanksgiving basket from Walmart includes ingredients to make a meal for up to 10 people, which Furner said will “sell for around $2 less than last year” at just over $70.

Furner added that the move comes on the heels of consumer feedback: “92% of our customers tell us they are concerned about food inflation.”

Inflation is up 3.7% from a year ago and, according to Moody’s Analytics, American households are spending $235 more per month on the same goods and services than they spent a year ago.

As Americans have seen shifts in supply chains, changes in consumer habits and other financial impacts that came out of the pandemic, Furner said “it’s been an interesting couple years — from last year, when inflation really started things like food and consumables picked up and we see more people eating at home.”

“Whether it’s food or getting ready for guest, people are buying early,” Furner also said.

Starting Nov. 1, the holiday food basket at Walmart will be offered at the lower price through Dec. 26. There will be two purchasing options: one with ingredients for customers who want to cook from scratch, and one for customers that like more convenient, ready-to-bake options.

“Walmart’s Thanksgiving meal includes customers’ favorites and fixings including many national brands, from turkey (for under $1/lb.!) and ham to stuffing and pumpkin pie,” a Walmart press release stated.

The holiday meal baskets are available for online order, pickup and delivery, as well as in-store.

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