Your Fourth of July Barbecue Is Going to Cost More Than Last Year’s

The price of an average Independence Day cookout is up 5.4 percent from 2013, according to a new survey.

National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
July 2, 2014, 1 a.m.

Cel­eb­rat­ing Amer­ica’s birth­day is go­ing to cost a few ex­tra bucks this year.

The price of an av­er­age sum­mer cookout is up 5.4 per­cent com­pared with last year, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased Tues­day by the Amer­ic­an Farm Bur­eau Fed­er­a­tion, a farm­ing ad­vocacy group. The group sent 83 vo­lun­teers in 25 states to gro­cery stores to check re­tail prices of bar­be­cue fa­vor­ites: hot dogs, bur­gers, ketch­up, potato salad, and more.

They es­tim­ated the cost of a bar­be­cue for 10 people this sum­mer to be $58.72, about $3 more than last year’s total, ac­cord­ing to the vo­lun­teers’ es­tim­ates. The in­crease is largely due to soar­ing prices for the center­piece of cookouts: meat. This year, the cost of ground beef is up 13.4 per­cent, from $7.86 to $8.91 per two pounds, the sur­vey found. The price of pork spareribs has also in­creased, by 13.2 per­cent, from $12.29 to $13.91 per four pounds.

The most re­cent avail­able num­bers from the Bur­eau of Labor Stat­ist­ics, from this past May, put the price of re­tail beef slightly lower, at an av­er­age of $7.70 per two pounds. Still, U.S. re­tail beef prices are cur­rently at an all-time high, thanks to the coun­try’s shrink­ing cattle herd, which is at its smal­lest size in 63 years. The Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment pre­dicts beef pro­duc­tion will drop 5.4 per­cent this year, hit­ting a 20-year low — and prob­ably drive up bur­ger prices next Fourth of Ju­ly, too.

The bar­be­cue food that saw the biggest price in­crease is the most Amer­ic­an of cheeses, Amer­ic­an cheese. That’s up 14.3 per­cent, from $2.73 to $3.12 per pound, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey. BLS data put the av­er­age price of Amer­ic­an cheese in U.S. cit­ies even high­er, at $4.52 per pound.

The Amer­ic­an Farm Bur­eau Fed­er­a­tion sur­vey found that prices of oth­er bar­be­cue staples, like potato salad, hot dog and ham­burger buns, mus­tard, and wa­ter­mel­on, re­mained about the same as last year. Hot dog them­selves, however, are 2.6 per­cent cheap­er this sum­mer, now $2.23 per pound in­stead of $2.29, ac­cord­ing to the AF­BF. Lem­on­ade prices also went down slightly, they found, by 3.4 per­cent, from $2.07 to $2 per half-gal­lon.

One cru­cial cookout item, however, ap­pears to be get­ting cheap­er and cheap­er. And, thank­fully, it’s the na­tion’s fa­vor­ite con­di­ment. The price of ketch­up is down 12 per­cent, from $1.55 per 20-ounce bottle last year to $1.36 this year, the AF­BF found.

While your bar­be­cue may be a bit more ex­pens­ive this week­end over­all, the cost per per­son re­mains just un­der $6, like last year. That’s, of course, be­fore all the booze.

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
1 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login