What will your summer cookout cost?

What will your summer cookout cost?

U.S. consumers will pay just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau analysis reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at $59.50, or less than $6 per person. The cost for the cookout is down just 16 cents (less than 1%) from last year, but 8% higher compared to 2019.

Prices may be higher for customers to prepare dishes like cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, pork & beans, potato chips, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookies.

The largest year-to-year price increase is for strawberries. Two pints of strawberries are priced at $5.30, up 22 percent from last year due to strong demand and the effects of several weather events including severe rain, hail, and high winds that caused significant setbacks to the harvest early in 2021.

AFBF’s summer cookout menu consists of cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, pork & beans, strawberries, potato chips and fresh-squeezed lemonade with ice cream and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Retail price changes for products in the meat case are a bit more nuanced, according to AFBF Economist Veronica Nigh.

“Beef and pork processing plant disruptions that occurred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been resolved, leading to lower retail ground beef and pork chop prices in 2021 compared to 2020,” Nigh said in a statement. “However, consumers looking a bit farther back to compare prices are seeing higher prices for ground beef, pork chops and chicken breasts compared to pre-pandemic prices. That’s due to continued strong demand for American-grown beef and pork from both U.S. and international consumers.”

“According to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series, farmers currently receive approximately 8 percent of every food marketing dollar,” Nigh continued. “The farmer’s share of the retail food dollar is as low as 2 percent to 4 percent for highly processed foods such as bread and cereal, and as much as 35 percent for some fresh-market products.”

Individual Prices, AFBF 2021 Summer Cookout

  • 2 pints of strawberries, $5.30 (up 22%)
  • 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.02 (up 11%)
  • 8 hamburger buns, $1.66 (up 6%)
  • 5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $2.75 (up 3%)
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $6.74 (up 1%)
  • 32 ounces of pork & beans, $1.90 (down 13%)
  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $8.20 (down 8%)
  • Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $4.69 (down 5%)
  • 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $11.63 (down 2%)
  • 5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $3.65 (down 2%)
  • 1 pound of sliced cheese, $4.05 (down 1%)
  • 13-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.93 (down 1%)

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

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