July 4 cookout costs reach record high nationally, but Indiana fares better (2024)

Grocery prices will make for record-high costs to throw a July 4 cookout countrywide, but Hoosiers will see a decrease.

Nationally, the average Independence Day cookout for 10 guests will cost $71.22. according to the 2024 American Farm Bureau Federation annual market place survey released Wednesday.

That’s up 5% from 2023, and almost 30% from five years ago, for a spread of cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, pork chops, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream.

The $7.12 per-person bill is a record high since the farm bureau began the survey in 2013.

“Higher prices at the grocery store reflect a number of challenges facing America’s families. Lower availability of some cookout staples and inflation are hitting people in their wallets,” American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Roger Cryan said in a statement.

Cost for a July 4, 2024, barbecue

  • 2 pounds of ground beef, $12.77 (+11%)
  • 2 pounds of chicken breasts, $7.83 (-4%)
  • 3 pounds of pork chops, $15.49 (+8%)
  • 1 pound of cheese, $3.57 (+1%)
  • 1 package of hamburger buns, $2.41 (+7%)
  • 2 ½ pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.32 (-4%)
  • 32 ounces of pork and beans, $2.49 (+2%)
  • 16 ounces of potato chips, $4.90 (+8%)
  • 13-ounce package of chocolate chip cookies, $3.99 (+2%)
  • ½ gallon of ice cream, $5.65 (+7%)
  • 2 pints of strawberries, $4.61 (+1%)
  • 2 ½ quarts of lemonade, $4.19 (+12%)

Why are beef and lemonade costs up?

July 4 cookout costs reach record high nationally, but Indiana fares better (1)

The costs of beef and lemonade have increased by double-digit percentages in a year. The retail price for two pounds of ground beef increased 11% to $12.77.

Lemonade will cost $4.19, up 12% from 2023.

Factors influencing the increases include drought conditions in recent years that forced ranchers to sell many of their cattle in early 2023, reducing the amount of beef available for this summer.

Higher lemon prices can be attributed to citrus greening, a plant disease that has spread to California after devastating Florida’s citrus industry, the farm bureau said.

Meanwhile, the costs of chicken breasts and potato salad have decreased.

Chicken is down 4% from last year, at $7.83 for 2 pounds, after chicken supplies stabilized. Potato salad is also 4% less expensive than last year, at $3.32, with potato crops recovered from 2023’s poor weather.

Although historically high at $7.12 per person, Americans dedicate a smaller percentage of their spending to food than any other country, the Farm Bureausaid.

Volunteer shoppers across the country, including farm bureau members and others, collected data from stores in every state and Puerto Rico.

Indiana Fourth of July cookouts will cost less in 2024

Hoosiers, it seems, are in better shape than the rest of the nation, actually seeing slightly lower prices this year compared to 2023.

It’ll cost Indiana hosts about $68.33 for a cookout feeding 10 people this summer — a 2% decrease compared to last year, according to Indiana Farm Bureau, using information from the national survey.

Indiana cookouts cost about 4%, or 29 cents, less than the U.S. average price per person.

Inflation is slowing slightly and supply chain issues that have been prevalent for the last few years are slowly getting worked out, said Indiana Farm Bureau Chief Economist Todd Davis.

“Our location in the central part of the country – closer to where most food is produced – also plays a role in Indiana and other Midwest states coming in lower than the national average,” Davis said.

In Indiana, the item that saw the largest price increase was ground beef, which increased 14% from last year to $13.88 for two pounds and was 9% more expensive than the U.S. average cost of $12.77.

Other cookout-related items that were slightly more expensive in Indiana than last year include hamburger buns, pork chops, lemonade, potato salad and strawberries. However, strawberries were 16% less in Indiana than they were nationally.

Central Indiana farmers saw a large early crop of strawberries from late May to early June, which might have resulted in more affordable strawberries in the state compared to other regions, Davis said.

Cookies, chicken breasts, cheese, ice cream and chips are more affordable in Indiana than last year.

The Midwest has experienced lower food inflation than other regions, with its average summer cookout for 2024 being $6.83 per person, according to Indiana Farm Bureau.

Still, overall food costs are high compared to two or three years ago largely due to general inflation affecting the costs of transportation and transforming foods from the farm to items ready for consumption at the supermarket, the Indiana Farm Bureau said.

Cookout Items2023 Indiana Costs2024 Indiana Costs% Change of Indiana Costs (2023 to 2024)% Difference between 2024 U.S. average costs and 2024 Indiana costs
Ground Beef (2 lbs.)$12.16$13.8814%9%
Cheese (1 lb.)$3.54$3.32-6%-7%
Cookies (13 oz bag)$4.75$3.62-24%-9%
Ice cream (half gallon)$4.67$4.28-8%-24%
Strawberries (2 pints)$3.80$3.872%-16%
Chips (16 oz bag)$5.04$4.58-9%-6%
Chicken Breast (2 lbs.)$9.30$7.64-18%-2%
Pork Chops (3 lbs.)$15.12$15.764%2%
Pork and beans (32 oz)$2.38$2.463%-1%
Hamburger Buns (1 package)$1.95$2.045%-15%
Lemonade (2.5 qts.)$3.66$3.722%-11%
Potato Salad (2.5 lbs.)$3.11$3.162%-5%
AVERAGE TOTAL MEAL PRICE$69.48$68.33-2%-4%

Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at cheryl.jackson@indystar.com or 317-444-6264. Follow her on X:@cherylvjackson.

July 4 cookout costs reach record high nationally, but Indiana fares better (2024)

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