The price is right: have a cookout

Wisconsin State Farmer
The cost of a summer cookout is down 1 percent from last year.

MADISON – The price of a cookout this year will be slightly less than last summer according to the latest Wisconsin­ Farm Bureau Marketbasket survey.

The informal survey shows the total cost of 14 food items that can be used to host a cookout for 10 people was $54.22. It marked a decrease of 8 cents from the $54.30 Marketbasket price in June 2016.
“Prices are in your favor this year if you are planning a cookout for the Fourth of July holiday,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s spokesperson Amy Eckelberg said.
The survey’s menu consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, ketchup and mustard, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk and watermelon for dessert. Of the 14 food items surveyed by Farm Bureau members, six items decreased in price compared with last summer.
“The lower food prices found in this survey did not come as a surprise,” Eckelberg said. “Commodity prices have been stable during the last year or so contributing to the very minimal decrease in our survey’s price.” 

Biggest decrease

Items that saw the largest price percentage decrease during the last year were ketchup, lemonade, pork spare ribs and ground round.
• Ketchup (20-oz bottle) decreased 16 cents (9.9 percent)
• Lemonade (premixed half gallon container) decreased 21 cents (8.5 percent)
• Pork spare ribs (one pound) decreased 92 cents (7.3 percent)
• Ground round (one pound) decreased 74 cents (7.4 percent)
Items that saw the biggest increase in price during the last year were American cheese, mustard and hotdog buns.

WI prices lower 

 Wisconsin’s $54.22 survey price is $1.48 less than the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey of the same 14 food items. AFBF’s survey came in at $55.70.

Six of the 14 items surveyed in Wisconsin were higher than the national average: ground round, hot dogs, corn chips, potato salad, lemonade and American cheese. 

National Average Retail Prices – AFBF July Fourth Cookout Survey:

Ground round (2 pound)$8.69
Package of hamburger buns$1.61
Mixed meat hot dogs (1 pound package)$2.19
Package of hot dog buns$1.63
American cheese slices, 16 (1 pound package)$2.83
Pork spare ribs, 4 pounds$12.76
Deli potato salad, 3 pounds$8.93
Baked beans, 28-ounce can$1.88
Corn chips, 15-ounce bag$3.26
Lemonade (pre-mixed), 2 quarts$2.12
Chocolate milk (pre-mixed), 2 quarts$2.45
Watermelon, 4 pounds$4.67
Ketchup, 20-ounce bottle$1.53
Mustard, 16-ounce bottle$1.16

State Average Retail Prices – WFBF July Fourth Cookout Survey:

Ground round (2 pound)$9.20
Package of hamburger buns$1.48
Mixed meat hot dogs (1 pound package)$2.42
Package of hot dog buns$1.47
American cheese slices, 16 (1 pound package)$2.94
Pork spare ribs, 4 pounds$11.64
Deli potato salad, 3 pounds$9.24
Baked beans, 28-ounce can$1.82
Corn chips, 15-ounce bag$3.68
Lemonade (pre-mixed), 2 quarts$2.25
Chocolate milk (pre-mixed), 2 quarts$2.38
Watermelon, 4 pounds$3.16
Ketchup, 20-ounce bottle$1.45
Mustard, 16-ounce bottle$1.09

Farmer's share

During the last three decades, retail grocery prices have gradually increased 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 farmers’ share of this quarter’s $54.22 grocery bill would be approximately $8.68.

The USDA says Americans will still spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average in the world.

The July Cookout 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 one or two meals.

Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected price samples of 14 basic food items in 30 communities across Wisconsin in June.