A picnic of Americans' favorite foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk is affordable this summer at less than $6 per person, according to informal surveys conducted by the Wisconsin and American Farm Bureau Federations.
The average cost for a summer picnic for 10 is $57.20 or $5.72 per person according to AFBF. In Wisconsin that same cost averaged $55.92 or $5.59 per person according to the WFBF.
"Although retail food prices have increased modestly over the past year or so, most Americans should be able to find summer picnic foods at close to the average prices found by our volunteer shoppers," said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF.
"For many of us, nothing says the summer more than firing up the grill to prepare a meal," Anderson said. "We're fortunate here in America to have a consistent, high-quality supply of meats and poultry that can be grilled or prepared any number of different ways."
The survey's summer picnic menu for 10 consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon for dessert, and ketchup and mustard.
Nationally, a total of 60 AFBF volunteer shoppers in 22 states checked retail prices for summer picnic foods for this informal survey. In Wisconsin, volunteer shoppers in 28 communities conducted the survey in local grocery stores.
The survey is part of Farm Bureau's marketbasket series, which also includes an annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey and two "everyday" marketbasket surveys on common food staples that can be used to prepare a meal.
AFBF is the nation's largest general farm organization. Learn more at http://facebook.com/WIFarmBureau
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WISCONSIN PRICE IS $1.28 THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE
Wisconsin's $55.92 Marketbasket is $1.28 less than the American Farm Bureau Federation's national survey of the same 14 food items. AFBF's survey rang in at $57.20.
Despite the lower overall price, six of the 14 items recently surveyed in Wisconsin were higher than the national average: ground round, hot dogs, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade and watermelon.
IS JUST $8.95
Retail grocery prices have gradually increased over the last three decades while the share of the average dollar spent on food that farm families receive has dropped.
In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures in grocery stores and restaurants.
Since then that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using that percentage across the board, the farmer's share of this quarter's $55.92 grocery bill in Wisconsin would be $8.95.
Despite higher prices, the USDA says Americans will still spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average in the world.
The Marketbasket survey is a quarterly look at the trends in food pricing in Wisconsin in relation to changing farm prices, weather and wholesale and retail food marketing.
Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected price samples of 14 basic food items in 28 communities across Wisconsin in June.
The Marketbasket Survey is an informal measure of prices at grocery stores in Wisconsin. The prices reported reflect variations in communities and retailers. The prices reported are not validated by any outside source.
Prices were collected for this survey in the communities of Appleton, Ashland, Beloit, De Pere, Edgerton, Fond du Lac, Hillsboro, Kewaunee, Madison, Manawa, Manitowoc, Marshfield, Medford, Mequon, Oconto Falls, Platteville, Plover, Racine, Richland Center, Sauk City, Saukville, Shawano, Sparta, St. Croix Falls, Waterford, Watertown, West Allis and West Bend.