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Farm Bureau: 4th of July Barbecue Will Cost More this Year

Food Prices
Food Inflation

Inflation has reached our grocery store shelves, and the Farm Bureau is out with its financial forecast for that 4th of July barbecue.

The market survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation shows it will cost about $70 to feed ten people this Fourth of July. Loren Koeman is the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Lead Economist. He says, “A lot of things going on in the world. A lot of inflation, current events has just kind of overwhelmed that and increased food prices somewhat significantly this year.” The big barbecue will cost about $7 per person: prices are up about 17% – or about $10 more than last year.


Jake Kaberle, owner of Burritt’s Fresh Market in Traverse City says the good news is “it’s starting to level out. It doesn’t feel as severe as it did four or five months ago.” But he adds, “I’ve started seeing shoppers be a little more selective in their purchases.”

The 17% hike is due in part to supply chain disruptions, inflation, and even the war in Ukraine. It doesn’t mean farmers are making a 17% profit. They’re seeing rising costs too. “Farmers aren’t making all of this. Farmers’ cost have gone up like everything else. Whether that’s fertilizer, fuel, labor. All of those costs for farmers have gone up,” Koeman says. “Farmers are seeing the same sort of pressures on them. Fertilizer has more than doubled. Labor has gone up. Whether that’s hired labor or the farmer’s own labor or just the return they need to take care of their own family and feed their own family.”

Kaberle says rising fuel and transportation costs are getting passed on to everyone. “We work with close to 100 different suppliers large and small. The larger suppliers, they farther they have to travel to us they’re charging fuel surcharges on top of the cost increase for groceries. Local suppliers we’re not seeing that as much.”

Prices for ground beef are up 36%, chicken is up 33%, potato salad up 19% and ice cream is up 10%.  One piece of good news? The price of strawberries is actually down this year, an average of 86 cents. Also down: the price for sliced cheese and potato chips.

Kaberle adds, “We are starting to see some price relief in the produce market as more local sources come on line. There’s more availability in the market so we’re seeing some prices drop.” He says seafood prices are also coming down. “There haven’t been the major increases that we saw with proteins two years ago. A lot of the dry grocery business, those price changes took longer to come into effect.”

This year’s price hike is unusual. Koeman says, “Historically we haven’t seen big increases in food prices. The efficiency of the US, Michigan farmer has really been incredible and has been able to hold food prices steady for a number of years.” In fact in some years we’ve even seen price decreases. But the farm bureau says over the long term, less and less of our income is being spent on food almost every year. And it’s still cheaper than eating out this 4th of July.

“I can always find something at a lower price point but it’s won’t be the same quality we’ve offered. It’s part of that give and take,” Kaberle says. “And I don’t compromise the items that I provide for my customers.”

Individual prices, AFBF 2022 summer cookout:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $11.12 (+36%)
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $8.99 (+33%)
  • 32 ounces of pork & beans, $2.53 (+33%)
  • 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $15.26 (+31%)
  • 5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $4.43 (+22%)
  • 5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.27 (+19%)
  • 8 hamburger buns, $1.93 (+16%)
  • Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $5.16 (+10%)
  • 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.31 (+7%)
  • 2 pints of strawberries, $4.44 (-16%)
  • 1 pound of sliced cheese, $3.53 (-13%)
  • 16-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.71 (-4%)