Monday, September 25

Burgers taking a bigger bite out of holiday barbecue budgets

Like pretty much everything else, Fourth of July cookouts will be pricier this year.

Ingredients for a home-prepared quarter-pound cheeseburger ran $2.07 in May, with ground beef accounting for $1.20 and cheddar cheese 35 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s 11.3% higher than the $1.86 it cost for the same burger last year, the USDA said.

The retail price of ground beef is up 16.9% from 2021, and accounts for 17 cents of the added cost, while cheddar cheese and bread costs each rose about 1 cent per burger. The price of iceberg lettuce has jumped 23.3% from a year ago, but adds only 2 cents to the total, according to the agency.

Cost of a home-grilled cheeseburger up 21 cents from 2021

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Of course, burgers are only part of the menu as many Americans celebrate Independence Day. 

In addition to cheeseburgers, the American Farm Bureau Federation is adding pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream to the table, and calculates the cost of a summer cookout for 10 at $69.68, or about $7 a person. 

The overall cost is about $10, or 17% higher, than last year, “a result of ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the war in Ukraine,” the trade group stated. 

Farmers are feeling the pain along with consumers, as the supplies used in growing and raising food are also more expensive, according to Roger Cryan, the AFBF’s chief economist. “In many cases the higher prices farmers are being paid aren’t covering the increase in their farm expenses. The cost of fuel is up and fertilizer prices have tripled,” he said in a news release. 

The AFBF’s pricing survey found the retail price for two pounds of ground beef at $11.12, up 36% from last year, with the cost of chicken breasts, pork chops, buns and cookies also higher. 

Strawberries, however, are a major bright spot, as their price fell by 86 cents per quart from a year ago. The AFBF also found the price of sliced cheese and potato chips to have fallen from last year, by 48 cents and 22 cents respectively. 

Here are the results collected by 176 volunteer shoppers across the country and in Puerto Rico: 

Individual Prices, AFBF 2022 Summer Cookout

  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $11.12 (+36%)
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $8.99 (+33%)
  • 32 ounces of pork & beans, $2.53 (+33%)
  • 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $15.26 (+31%)
  • 2.5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $4.43 (+22%)
  • 2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.27 (+19%)
  • 8 hamburger buns, $1.93 (+16%)
  • Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $5.16 (+10%)
  • 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.31 (+7%)
  • 2 pints of strawberries, $4.44 (-16%)
  • 1 pound of sliced cheese, $3.53 (-13%)
  • 16-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.71 (-4%)

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