The cost of a Fourth of July cookout has hit a record high, according to the American Farm Bureau. The organization puts together a sample menu every year, based on feeding ten people at a cookout, and this year it rings in at $71.22.

Bernt Nelson is an economist with the American Farm Bureau.

“This is 5% higher than last year, and I think the more kind of shocking number here is that it’s up 30% from just five years ago,” Nelson told Missourinet.

He indicated that inflation is playing a large role in the higher cookout costs.

“We’ve heard in some of the latest (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports that inflation is slowing, but the impacts from inflation, from what’s already happened, are still there,” Nelson said. “So inflation and tighter supplies on some of our cookout staples are really hitting people in their wallets.”

Those staples, and their 2024 average price tags, are:

The Farm Bureau has been keeping track of the costs of July 4th cookouts for just over a decade. Part of the reason for the higher cost is the price of ground beef.

“We’ve had constricting cattle supplies now for several years that started with the drought,” Nelson said. “We had back-to-back-to-back La Nina-induced drought conditions where farmers marketed a very high number of female cattle, and this has left us with the lowest cattle inventory in 73 years.”

Lemon prices are also higher because of citrus greening disease, which has been killing lemon trees in Florida and was discovered in California last year. Nelson said, though, that the price of chicken breasts is about 4% cheaper now than a year ago, and a healthy potato supply has resulted in cheaper potato salad prices. Of course, you’ll pay a lot more than $71.22 if you include alcoholic beverages.

“In the last year we’ve seen beer prices on average go up about 1.4%,” Nelson said. “They’re not seeing as big of an increase as they had back in, like, the 2023-2022 time frame. So in those two years we saw a much stronger increase. Things have stabilized just a little bit on that level, but prices are still a lot higher than just two years ago.”

Soda prices are also much higher due to inflation.

Nelson said prices will vary, of course, depending on the number of people who attend the cookout and your menu options. If you’re wanting to lower that price tag a bit, Nelson recommends watching for grocery store promotions and sales as July 4th gets closer.

Copyright © 2024 · Missourinet