Cost of summer cookouts reaches record high $71.22

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WASHINGTON — Families planning summer cookouts will continue to find stubbornly high prices at the grocery store. An Independence Day cookout will cost $71.22 for 10 guests this year, based on the 2024 American Farm Bureau Federation annual market basket survey.

The grocery bill is up 5% from 2023, and almost 30% from just five years ago. A $7.12 per-person cost represents a record high since AFBF began the survey in 2013. The cookout favorites include cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, pork chops, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, among other products.

The market basket survey shows a year-to-year double-digit increase in the cost of beef and lemonade. The retail price for 2 pounds of ground beef increased 11% to $12.77. Lemonade will cost $4.19, up 12% from 2023. Several factors influence these increases, which reflect the sort of challenges farmers face on a regular basis, farm bureau said.

Drought conditions in recent years forced ranchers to sell many of their cattle early last year, reducing the amount of beef available this summer. Higher lemon prices can be attributed to citrus greening, which has spread to California after devastating Florida’s citrus industry.

The survey found two exceptions to the price increases. Chicken is down 4% from last year, at $7.83 for 2 pounds. Potato salad is also 4% less expensive than last year, at $3.32. Chicken supplies have stabilized, and potato crops have recovered from the previous year’s poor weather.

Although historically high at $7.12 per person, when put in a global context, Americans dedicate a smaller percentage of their spending to food than any other country.

Full analysis of the 2024 Fourth of July cookout survey will be available soon on the Market Intel page at fb.org.

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