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HomeGeneralHow the Rate of BBQ Skyrocketed From $59.50 to $71.22

How the Rate of BBQ Skyrocketed From $59.50 to $71.22

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With the current inflationary pressures, Americans are still battling the highest costs ever for their July 4 cookouts this year. Recent data from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) revealed that a regular Independence Day barbecue for ten people will now set families back $71.22. 

Someone making BBQ
Source: Pinterest

Fellas, this is a huge increase from $59.50 in 2021. The culprits responsible for the rising costs of essential items are burger meat, buns, cheese, and popular sides like chips.

Current Rate of BBQ in America

AFBF economists Bernt Nelson and Samantha Ayoub noted that 2024 marks the first time the cost per person has exceeded $7, averaging $7.12 per individual. They further noted that while a few dishes have experienced price reductions, most items have increased in price.

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Couple making BBQ
Source: Pinterest

You can’t be shocked, as the current situation aligns with the broader inflationary trends recently impacting the general and agricultural economies. A market survey conducted by AFBF allowed volunteers nationwide to track prices for a comprehensive homemade cookout menu. 

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This cookout menu includes cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, pork chops, potato chips, homemade potato salad, fresh-squeezed lemonade, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. Additionally, the menu offered a clearer picture of the financial strain on consumers looking to celebrate the holiday with traditional fare.

Rising Meat Prices and Expensive Fixings Add Up for July 4th Cookouts

Meat has to be a significant issue in the barbecue budget. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), meat comprises roughly half of the total cost of an Independence Day cookout.

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July 4th Cookouts Menu
Source: Pinterest

Furthermore, the BBQ budget’s most significant expense is burgers. The average price of two pounds of ground beef reaches $12.77, a huge rise from $8.20 just three years ago. This increase is due to the overall cattle inventory being at its lowest in 73 years and a significant reduction in beef in cold storage.

Aside from beef prices, pork chops have also increased over the years. The price of pork chops has risen by 8% nationally compared to last year. The average cost for three pounds of pork chops now stands at $15.49; in California, it’s even higher at $19.91. 

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California’s extreme price is majorly due to the state’s ban on in-state meat sales from animals that don’t meet the state’s animal welfare standards, regardless of their place of origin. Thankfully, the cost of chicken breast has decreased.

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Two pounds now average $7.83, reflecting a 4% drop since 2023 and a more than 13% reduction from the record highs during the 2022 bird flu outbreak. Lemonade isn’t left out of the conversation. Lemonade prices have also increased by 12%, with the average cost reaching $4.19.

This increase is due to expensive ingredients, especially a citrus greening disease outbreak that affected lemon production in California, the primary source of U.S. lemons. Additionally, global sugar production declines and higher tariffs on Mexican imports have contributed to the rising costs.

Cookout Sides and Desserts

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) includes various side dishes and desserts in its market basket for the last cookouts. The side dishes included chips, potato salad, ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies.

Just so you know, a large bag of chips is an average of $4.90, an 8% increase from last year. Conversely, potato salad is one of the few items that has decreased in price, down 4% from the previous year. 

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Ice Cream and Potato Chips
Source: Pinterest

This reduction is due to falling prices for potatoes and eggs, despite egg inventories still recovering from the bird flu epidemic, keeping prices above historical norms.

Despite the overall price hike, recent inflation reports indicate a slight cooling of the economy, which makes everyone hope for the best. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also hopeful about the inflation outlook. 

He made references to the consumer price index reports from April and May. According to Powell, the latest data suggest a return to a disinflationary path, though he emphasized the need for more confidence before making policy changes.

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