INFB survey shows your July 4th cookout could cost a little less this year

Last Updated on June 28, 2016 by cassnetwork

An Independence Day cookout featuring some of Americans’ favorite summer foods – hot dogs, cheeseburgers, ribs, baked beans and other items – will be a little less expensive this year, according to an annual survey from Indiana Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau’s informal survey showed that the average cost to feed 10 people at a summer cookout is $48.06 – or just over $4.80 per person. This compares to last year’s total of $48.78.

The summer cookout survey is conducted by volunteer shoppers who collect prices on specific food items from one of their local grocery stores. This year’s list included ground round, hot dogs, hot dog and hamburger buns, pork spare ribs, American cheese slices, baked beans, potato salad, corn chips, prepared lemonade, chocolate milk, ketchup and mustard. In all, 18 Indiana shoppers from across the state participated.

The Indiana survey results are included in a nationwide survey coordinated by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Seventy-nine volunteer shoppers in 29 states (including Indiana) completed the most recent summer survey. The national survey also showed a slight decrease overall, dropping by 6 cents to $51.57 in 2016.

On the Indiana survey, the price for ground round increased slightly, rising from $9.24 for 2 pounds to $9.46. But the price for pork spare ribs decreased slightly, dropping from $11.60 for 4 pounds to $11.28.

“Prices in the meat case are starting to look better from the consumers’ perspective,” said Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“On the pork side, commercial production also continues to grow and is at the highest level in 25 years,” Nigh said. In addition, she added, the amount of product in cold storage is up 121 percent.

“This is helping mediate the normal seasonal upswing in spare rib prices we typically see around the July 4th festivities,” she said.

“Independence Day is our country’s birthday – a day set aside to remember how America became the land of liberty that it is today,” said Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president and chair of the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, which is in charge of the market-basket survey program. “We celebrate by gathering family and friends to share in our abundance of food choices. Food is our connection to each other. The farmer’s share of our food dollar reminds us that there are many people, including the farmers, truckers, grocers and cooks who help bring our food from the farm to our table.”

The summer cookout survey is part of the Farm Bureau market-basket series, which includes the annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey, the summer cookout survey and two surveys that collect information on food staples that Americans commonly use to prepare meals at home. AFBF published its first market-basket survey in 1986.

The year-to-year direction of the market basket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 17 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Nigh said.

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this $48.06 market basket would be $8.17.

Items Amount 2013 2014 2015 2016 % change


Ground round 2 pounds $7.42 $9.02 $9.24 $9.46 2.4%
Hot dogs 1 pound $1.97 $1.90 $2.02 $1.79 -11.4%
Hamburger buns 1 package $1.35 $1.48 $1.40 $1.30 -7.1%
Hot dog buns 1 package $1.32 $1.44 $1.48 $1.37 -7.4%
Pork spare ribs 4 pounds $10.84 $11.68 $11.60 $11.28 -2.8%
American cheese slices 1 pound $2.54 $2.96 $2.92 $2.95 1.0%
Baked beans 28-ounce can $1.90 $2.05 $1.83 $1.75 -4.4%
Deli potato salad 3 pounds $7.83 $7.29 $8.28 $7.80 -5.8%
Corn chips 25-ounce bag $2.82 $3.17 $3.15 $3.36 6.7%
Lemonade 1/2 gallon $1.80 $1.82 $1.91 $2.08 8.9%
Chocolate milk 1/2 gallon $2.37 $2.39 $2.43 $2.50 2.9%
Ketchup 20-ounce bottle $1.42 $1.35 $1.41 $1.40 -0.7%
Mustard 16-ounce jar $1.11 $1.08 $1.11 $1.02 -8.0%
TOTAL $44.69 $47.63 $48.78 $48.06 -1.5%
Per person 10 $4.47 $4.76 $4.88 $4.81 -1.5%


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