Celebrations around friends and family on the July 4th holiday that involve cookouts this year will be fairly easy on wallets, according to estimates from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $52.80 this year, which is about $5.28 per person and down about 11 cents from a year ago.
The menu for the $52.80 cost includes eight hot dogs and buns, eight quarter-pound hamburgers, buns and cheese, four pounds of pork spare ribs, ketchup and mustard, three pounds of deli potato salad, 28 ounces of baked beans, corn chips, lemonade and one watermelon.
“Strong consumer demand for beef and growth in U.S. meat production has led to higher ground beef prices but lower pork spare rib prices for the 4th of July,” said Dr. John Newton, chief economist for AFBF. “Pork production in 2019 continues to increase compared to year-ago levels. Increased supplies and competition in the meat case at the grocery contributed to lower spare rib prices.”
He adds record milk production this year is bringing cheese prices down as the summer grilling season continues. Ice cream is also a byproduct of milk and for the first time, AFBF tracked the cost of 1.5 quarts of vanilla ice cream. If added to the holiday cookout, the tally is still below $6 per person this year.
Farm Bureau members in 34 states took part in checking the retail prices of the menu foods for this year’s average cookout.