Fri, 22 Sep 2023

US Fourth of July cookouts affected by surging food prices

Robert Besser
04 Jul 2022, 08:31 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: Due to surging food prices, summer cookouts for the U.S. Independence Day holiday are more expensive, forcing Americans to decide how to celebrate this year's Fourth of July holiday.

According to a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the prices of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans and lemonade rose 17 percent, compared with one year ago, with the average cost of a basket of cookout menu items for 10 people climbing to $69.68.

The National Retail Federation said the cost of similar cookout items is $84.12.

In May, U.S. inflation recorded its largest annual increase in four decades, after global food prices began rising in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was made worse by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Anya Novikova, a student at Chicago's Rush University who is planning a road trip over the holiday weekend, despite high gasoline prices, said, "My grocery bill used to be about $250 to $300 a month, now it has skyrocketed to over $400," as quoted by Reuters.

Research by Wells Fargo showed some price tags rose more than others, as avocado prices climbed 24 percent over one year ago, while beer prices surged 25 percent since 2021.

Earlier this year, prices of ground beef used to make hamburgers soared to an all-time high, caused partly by high prices of corn used for cattle feed.

"Meats were always a seasonal thing. In the summer steaks are expensive, in the winter, the chuck is expensive because everybody is cooking pot roast," said William Begale, owner of Paulina Market in Chicago, as reported by Reuters.

Wells Fargo also reports that chicken wings and breasts climbed 38 and 24 percent, respectively, since February, year-over-year.

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