Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Summer Cookout Cost Holding Steady

News / Newsline June 30, 2021

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Consumers can expect to spend around the same amount as last year for an Independence Day cookout this weekend. Micheal Clements shares more from the American Farm Bureau’s July 4 market basket survey.

Clements: U.S. consumers will pay just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year. Farm Bureau Acting Chief Economist Veronica Nigh says the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at $59.50.

Nigh: Which is down about 16 cents from last year, and compared to 2019, the overall cost of the basket is eight percent higher. The survey reveals a difference in retail food prices depending on the region of the country with a $5.50 spread from highest to lowest. The highest cost is in the West, at about $62 followed by the northeast and south with the Midwest, at about $57.

Clements: Nigh says strawberries had the largest price increase in the survey.

Nigh: Two pints of strawberries cost $5.30 which was up 22 percent from last year. That's attributed to the popularity of ready-to-eat fruits and severe weather during the harvest this spring. Beef and pork prices are lower compared to last year because packing plant disruptions early in the pandemic have been resolved. However, prices are still considerably higher than pre-pandemic prices in 2019 due to strong demand in the U.S. and internationally.

Clements: Nigh adds farmers receive more dollars from food when meals are consumed at home compared to those purchased from a restaurant.

Nigh: The farmers’ share of the total spent on food is only about eight percent. However, when we break that down for food consumed at home versus food consumed away from home, 13.4 percent of the food consumed at home can be attributed to the farmers, as opposed to only 2.2 percent for food consumed away from home. So, while we're spending a little bit more in the grocery store, a larger share of that is going to the folks actually growing the food for our picnic basket.

Clements: Find the complete survey at Micheal Clements, Washington.

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