The cost of a July 4th cookout is down slightly, but prices remain high

The cost of a July 4th cookout is down slightly compared to last year, according to the latest American Farm Bureau marketbasket survey.

Chief Economist Roger Cryan says that Americans are paying more at the grocery store than they were two years ago.

“While prices are down 3 percent this year compared to last year, it’s important to note that the cost of the cookout is 14 percent higher than it was two years ago,” he says. “Inflation is still a problem.”  

The average cost for an Independence Day cookout for 10 people is $67.73.

The marketbasket survey shows an increase in the cost of hamburger buns, beef, and potato salad, while there is a decrease in the cost of chicken breasts, lemonade, and cookies.

The retail price for a package of eight hamburger buns increased 17 percent to $2.26. Homemade potato salad will cost $3.44, up 5 percent from 2022, and two pounds of ground beef rose 4 percent to $11.54,

AFBF says drought conditions have increased the cost of feed and reduced the number of available cattle for the summer grilling season, driving up beef prices. Higher potato prices can be attributed to poor weather leading to a drop in production, and general inflation is driving up the price of processed foods like bread.

He says although consumers are facing price hikes in the grocery store, producers are not realizing the profits.

“Farmers’ share of the retail food dollars is 14 percent. In other words, only 14 cents of every dollar consumer spend on food goes back in some form to the farmer,” he says. “On top of that, farmers are also facing increased costs. They have to pay for fuel, fertilizer and other expenses.”

Although historically high, the cost of the cookout breaks down to less than $7 per person.

Cryan says the resiliency of agriculturists allows Americans to spend less on food than any other nation in the world.

“Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than any other country, thanks to a vibrant farm sector and hard working farmers, supported by strong farm bill programs,” he says.

Volunteer shoppers across the country, including Farm Bureau members and others, collected data from 240 different stores in every state and Puerto Rico.

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