Cost of July 4th barbecue up 17% compared to last year

Supply chain issues, inflation and Ukraine war cited as cause
calendar icon 28 June 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to a new American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) market basket survey, US consumers will pay $69.68 for their favourite Independence Day cookout foods, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream. 

The average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $69.68 or less than $7 per person. The overall cost is up 17% or about $10 from last year, a result of ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the war in Ukraine.

Farmers are feeling the price-point pain too, like the people they grow food for, according to AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan.

"Despite higher food prices, the supply chain disruptions and inflation have made farm supplies more expensive; like consumers, farmers are price-takers not price-makers," Cryan said. "Bottom line, 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 fertiliser prices have tripled."

Cryan also pointed to the cascading effects of the war in Ukraine, as that country's contributions to global food security are cut off, Russian and Belarusian fertilizer exports are constrained, and some other countries pull back exports to protect their domestic supplies.

The largest year-to-year price increase was for ground beef, at $11.12 for 2 pounds, up 36%. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture's Producer Price Index indicates that compared to a year ago, farm-level cattle prices are up 17.5%, but wholesale beef prices are down 14%. This serves to highlight the differences between farm-level, wholesale and retail beef prices and how the events of the last few years have had significant impacts on the beef production and cattle pricing cycles, making them all hard to predict.

"The increased cost of food and supplies is a very real concern in our country and across the globe," said AFBF president Zippy Duvall. "US food assistance programs and food banks help those who struggle to make ends meet here at home, but the story is much different around the globe as food insecurity skyrockets. The big impact of a single event in Ukraine shows how dependent the world is on stable, productive agriculture."

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