Independence Day cookouts will cost 5% more this year

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 53 views 

Friends and families who gather on the Fourth of July for summer cookouts and fireworks will see higher prices than a year ago thanks in large part to higher beef prices, according to the American Farm Bureau (AFB).

The AFB annual survey looked at prices for a complete cookout consisting of cheeseburgers, chicken breast, pork chops, potato chips, pork and beans, fresh strawberries, potato salad, lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. For a group of 10, families can expect to spend $71.22, up 5% from a year ago and 30% more expensive than just five years ago. This survey did not include alcoholic beverages.

Meat prices remain elevated with ground beef prices up 11% from a year ago.  Pork chop prices are up 8% year over year, but chicken prices are down 4% year over year and 13% lower than a record high in 2022, the AFB reports.

Other food prices remain high as hamburger buns cost 7% more than last year. American cheese slices were relatively stable, only up 1% to this year versus 2023. A half-gallon of ice cream will add $5.65 to your grocery bill, up 7% from last year. Fresh squeezed lemonade will also be more expensive to make this summer. Prices of lemons are up 13% this summer and sugar prices are up 11%.

AFB reports ingredients to make 2 pounds of potato salad are about 17% cheaper this summer compared to 2023. Pork and beans, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and strawberries rounded out the basket. Canned beans cost 2% more, cookies are also 2% more expensive while potato chips will cost 8% more. The cost of strawberries is flat compared to a year ago.

Rabobank reported Wednesday the average cost to feed 10 could top $99 this year including alcoholic beverages. Beef and beverages will likely be the most expensive items for a traditional cookout. Beer costs are up 3.5% from a year ago and non-alcoholic beverages are 2% more expensive. The cost of alcoholic beverages is up 15% since the pandemic, according to data analytics firm NPD .

Following are estimated costs for a traditional July 4 cookout for 10 people, according to AFB.
Hamburger buns: $2.41
Cheese: $3.57
Ground beef: $12.77
Chicken breast: $7.83
Pork chops: $15.49
Pork and beans: $2.49
Potato salad: $3.32
Potato chips: $4.90
Cookies: $3.99
Ice cream: $5.65
Strawberries: $4.61
Lemonade: $4.19