US July 4th cookout prices drop slightly from last year’s record high

However, prices significantly higher than two years ago
calendar icon 11 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

A July 4th summer cookout will cost slightly less than last year’s record prices but significantly higher than two years ago, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) marketbasket survey.

The national average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $67.73 and $63.60 in Texas, about 6% less than the national average.

The national grocery bill is down 3% from 2022, but still about 14% higher than prices were just two years ago. Last year set a record high since AFBF began the survey in 2013, and 2023 comes in as the second-highest cost.

Cookout favorites include cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, pork chops, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, among other products.

“Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than people in any other country and that’s thanks to a vibrant farm sector, supported by a strong farm bill program,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “But it’s important to note that when retail prices go up, it doesn’t mean farmers are getting a windfall. When prices go up, it’s usually because their costs have gone up, and farmers only get 14% of the retail food dollar.”

The marketbasket survey shows a year-to-year increase in the cost of hamburger buns, beef and potato salad, while there are drops in the cost of chicken breasts, lemonade and cookies.

  • The retail price for a package of eight hamburger buns increased 17% to $2.26. 
  • Homemade potato salad will cost $3.44, up 5% from 2022. 
  • The cost of 2 pounds of ground beef rose 4% to $11.54.

Several factors influence the increases. Drought conditions have increased the cost of feed and reduced the number of available cattle for the summer grilling season, driving up beef prices. Higher potato prices can be attributed to poor weather leading to a drop in production, and general inflation is driving up the price of processed foods like bread.

  • A package of cookies will cost 10% less than 2022. 
  • The price of chicken breasts and eggs, which had reached record-high prices in 2022, are both lower. This is good news as the number of avian influenza cases has fallen, which has allowed chicken populations to recover. 
  • Lemonade is 16% less expensive, at $3.73, due to a drop in the cost of lemons.

Although historically high, the cost of the cookout breaks down to $6.77 per person nationally and $6.36 per person nationally.

When put in a global context, Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than any other country.

The federal government’s broader Consumer Price Index report for food at home shows an overall increase of 5.8% compared to a year ago. Farm Bureau’s informal marketbasket survey examines only those foods commonly associated with summer cookouts.

The July 4th cookout survey is part of the Farm Bureau marketbasket series, which also includes the popular annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey of common food staples Americans use to prepare meals at home. Volunteer shoppers across the country, including Farm Bureau members and others, collected data from 240 different stores in every state and Puerto Rico.

Individual Prices, AFBF 2023 Summer Cookout

  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $11.54 (+4%)
  • 2 pounds of chicken breasts, $8.14 (-9%)
  • 3 pounds of pork chops, $14.37 (-6%)
  • 1 pound of cheese, $3.53 (no change)
  • 1 package of hamburger buns, $2.26 (+17%)
  • 2 ½ pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.44 (+5%)
  • 32 ounces of pork and beans, $2.44 (-3%)
  • 16-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.53 (-4%)
  • 13-ounce package of chocolate chip cookies, $3.90 (-10%)
  • ½ gallon of ice cream, $5.29 (+3%)
  • 2 pints of strawberries, $4.56 (+3%)
  • 2 ½ quarts of lemonade, $3.73 (-16%)
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