Food Prices to Celebrate the Fourth of July Are 17% Higher Than Last Year

U.S. consumers will pay $69.68 for their favorite Independence Day cookout food, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries, and ice cream, based on a new American Farm Bureau Federation market basket survey.

The average cost of a summer cookout food 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.

The largest year-to-year price increase was for ground beef, at $11.12 for 2 pounds, up 36%. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department’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.

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

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“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 fertilizer 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.

Commenting on big picture concerns related to food security, AFBF President Zippy Duvall said: “The increased cost of food and supplies is a very real concern in our country and across the globe. U.S. 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.”