4th of July cookout fare up nearly 20%  

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


A year after President Biden bragged that he helped Americans save $0.16 cents on their Fourth of July cookouts, a new report indicates that the price of the country’s favorite Independence Day fare has shot up 17%.

A new American Farm Bureau Federation “marketbasket” survey shows that the average cost to feed 10 people with Independence Day staples like hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, and ice cream over the holiday weekend will cost $69.98, up $10 from last year.

“Despite higher food prices, the supply chain disruptions and inflation have made farm supplies more expensive,” AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cyran said, pointing out that “farmers are feeling the price-point pain too.”

“Bottom line, in many cases the higher prices farmers are being paid aren’t covering the increase in their farm expenses,” he explained. “The cost of fuel is up and fertilizer prices have tripled,” Cyran added, noting that in addition to record-high inflation in the U.S., the war in Ukraine has negatively impacted agriculture around the globe, with Russia being one of the largest global suppliers of fertilizer.

According to the marketbasket survey, the price for ground beef represents the most significant cost increase, with the retail prices up 36% from last year. The Agriculture Department’s Producer Price Index indicates that farm-level cattle prices have shot up $17.5% while wholesale beef prices have decreased by 14%. 

“According to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series, farmers currently receive approximately 8% of every food marketing dollar,” Cryan said. “The farmers’ share of the retail food dollar is as low as 2% to 4% for highly processed foods such as bread and cereal, and can be 35% or more for some fresh products.”

The report also reflects price increases on popular cookout items like chicken, pork chops, potato salad, sandwich buns, cookies, and lemonade.

Consumers might want to put strawberry shortcake on the menu for this year’s celebration, however. The average retail price for the summertime berry dropped by $0.86 compared to last year. The report cites better weather conditions in some fruit-producing regions as the reason behind the modest price drop. Slight decreases were also reported for sliced cheese and potato chips.

The marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for the nation’s food consumption and general inflation across the economy. The index and the marketbasket report both show a 10% increase in the average cost Americans are paying to put food on the table compared to last year’s numbers.

Data for the Farm Bureau’s July 4th cookout survey was provided by 176 volunteer shoppers in states around the country and in Puerto Rico. The following is a breakdown of what Americans can expect to pay when they fire up the grill this summer.

  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $11.12 (+36%)
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $8.99 (+33%)
  • 32 ounces of pork & beans, $2.53 (+33%)
  • 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $15.26 (+31%)
  • 2.5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $4.43 (+22%)
  • 2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.27 (+19%)
  • 8 hamburger buns, $1.93 (+16%)
  • Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $5.16 (+10%)
  • 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.31 (+7%)
  • 2 pints of strawberries, $4.44 (-16%)
  • 1 pound of sliced cheese, $3.53 (-13%)
  • 16-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.71 (-4%)

AFBF President Zippy Duvall said the rising costs of food and agricultural supplies “is a very real concern in our country and across the globe.” The war in Ukraine, he said, “shows how dependent the world is on stable, productive agriculture.” Duvall added that, while struggling Americans can fall back on food assistance programs and local food banks to help feed their families, the situation is much more dire in other parts of the world.

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