An all-American Fourth of July picnic of the nation's favorite foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk will cost slightly more this year but still comes in at less than $6 per person, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Farm Bureau's informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer picnic for 10 is $58.72, or $5.87 per person. That's about a 5-percent increase compared to a year ago.
"Despite some modest price increases over the past year or so — meats, especially — most Americans should be able to find summer picnic foods at prices close to the averages found by our volunteer shoppers," said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF.
"Retail meat prices are higher compared to a year ago because the nation's cattle herd is now at a historically small level," Anderson said. "The total number of hogs farmers across the nation are raising is also down, which has contributed to higher retail prices for pork products."
Although consumers will pay a bit more for their Independence Day picnics, finding delectable meat cuts and ingredients for side dishes will not be a problem.
"As a nation, we continue to enjoy a consistent, high-quality supply of meats and poultry that can be grilled or prepared any number of different ways. The whole array of home-grown foods Americans typically enjoy in the summer also is in plentiful supply," he said.
AFBF'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.
A total of 84 Farm Bureau members (volunteer shoppers) in 25 states checked retail prices for summer picnic foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.
The July Fourth Picnic Survey is part of the Farm Bureau marketbasket series which also includes the popular annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey and two "everyday" marketbasket surveys on common food staples Americans use to prepare meals at home. A squad of Farm Bureau members across the nation checks retail prices at local grocery stores for the marketbasket surveys. AFBF published its first marketbasket survey in 1986.
AFBF is the nation's largest general farm organization with member families in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Learn more at http://facebook.com/AmericanFarmBureau or follow @FarmBureau on Twitter.