July Fourth cookout costs see slight drop this year


U.S. consumers are getting some good news as they fire up the grill this coming weekend for their Fourth of July cookouts.

A look at prices from the American Farm Bureau Federation for Independence Day meal staples show the average cost for a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at an average of $59.50, or less than $6 per person.

That’s a drop of 16 cents from last year from last year, but 8 percent higher compared with 2019 for foods including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries, and ice cream.

This year’s survey combines Bureau of Labor Statistics food price data with survey results. (Graphic courtesy of AFBF)

The largest year-to-year price increase was for strawberries. Survey results showed 2 pints of strawberries at $5.30, up 22 percent from last year, due to strong demand and the effects of several weather events including severe rain, hail and high winds that caused significant setbacks to the harvest early in 2021.

“The cost of a summer celebration cookout is a great value,” said Ernie Birchmeier, manager of the Center for Commodity Farm and Industry Relations for Michigan Farm Bureau. “Some prices are slightly less than a year ago while others are slightly higher but consumers can enjoy their favorite grilling choice knowing that it is very affordable. Our food system is back to normal after the challenges of the pandemic and there is plenty of food available whether you decide to grill out, eat in, or go to one the great restaurants in your neighborhood.”

Individual prices from the AFBF 2021 summer cookout data:

  • 2 pints of strawberries, $5.30 (up 22%)
  • 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.02 (up 11%)
  • 8 hamburger buns, $1.66 (up 6%)
  • 2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $2.75 (up 3%)
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $6.74 (up 1%)
  • 32 ounces of pork & beans, $1.90 (down 13%)
  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $8.20 (down 8%)
  • Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $4.69 (down 5%)
  • 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $11.63 (down 2%)
  • 2.5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $3.65 (down 2%)
  • 1 pound of sliced cheese, $4.05 (down 1%)
  • 13-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.93 (down 1%)
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