Projected costs for a Fourth of July cookout rise to record levels nationwide

The American Farm Bureau said the elevated costs are also because of a low cattle supply, which is at its lowest in 73 years, a breakout in Avian flu that has affected 40 herds of cattle, and a notable drop in income for farmers. 

Published: July 3, 2024 11:02pm

The national projected costs for a Fourth of July barbecue are up five percent in 2024 compared to last year, according to a new survey, amid high inflation. 

Annual cookouts are expected to cost an average of $71.22 this year for a party of 10, which is an increase of 30% compared to five years ago, according to the American Farm Bureau's annual survey. The number is also a record high, beating the previous record of $69.68 in 2022.

The rising costs of meat is the largest contributor to the elevated prices, with two pounds of hamburger costing an average of $12.77 nationally, which is approximately one dollar more than in 2023

The prices of other meats have also risen recently, with pork chops costing an average of $15.49 for three pounds, and chicken breasts costing $7.83 for two pounds. The cost of pork chops is an 8% increase compared to last year, but pork chops in California cost even more, at $19.91 for three pounds.

The prices also depend on what part of the country people reside in. In the Western United States, prices are the highest at $80.88 for a party of 10. For shoppers in the South and Midwest, costs will be $68.33 and $68.26 for a party of 10 respectively. In the Northeast, Americans can expect to pay an average of $63.54 for a party of 10. 

"No matter which state or city you call home, Americans everywhere are still feeling the heat at the grocery checkout," the research firm Datasembly said in a statement to Axios.

Other cookout staples like potato chips, pork and beans, fresh strawberries, fresh-squeezed lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, are also up from last year but down from record highs. 

The farm bureau said the elevated costs are also because of a low cattle supply – at the lowest in 73 years – a breakout in Avian flu that has affected 40 herds of cattle, and a notable drop in income for farmers. 

“Combined with weather uncertainty and volatile commodity prices, farmers and ranchers are vulnerable to significant impacts to their businesses’ bottom line,” the experts wrote, according to The Hill. “Higher food prices do not equal higher income for farmers; less than 15 cents of every dollar spent on food goes to the farm once you take into account processing, transportation and marketing.”

Another report found that a basket of 13 essential barbecue items will see a 40% increase from 2019. A basket of meat, condiments and sides that cost $47.70 in 2019 will cost $67.51, according to Datasembly. Details on what meat, condiments, and sides were used in the survey were not disclosed, but hot dogs and ground beef saw some of the steepest rises.

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

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