Inflation will be an uninvited guest at Fourth of July cookouts this year, with Americans paying abnormally high prices for holiday favorites such as meat and beer.
The cost of hosting a Fourth of July gathering for a group of 10 people will be about 11% higher than it was one year ago, according to an analysis by the Wells Fargo Food and Agribusiness Industry Advisor team.
“Fourth of July celebrants will be able to keep an eye on the fireworks and minimize the pain of food inflation by planning early this year – but it will require a little creativity with menu planning and an eye for deals given food prices are up across the board,” the study’s author said.
Grilling staples are among the most expensive items on the menu this Independence Day. The price of meat has ballooned over the last year as supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and shipping delays impact costs at the grocery store.
Hot dogs – traditionally a cost-effective BBQ staple – are more than 12% costlier than they were last year. Hamburgers are pricier than usual as well, with fresh ground beef prices also up roughly 12%.
Even hamburger and hot dog bun prices are up 10% — a trend the Wells Fargo analysts attribute in part to the ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on grain prices.
Chicken wing and breast prices are respectively up by 38% and 24%, while drumsticks are up 12%.
Wells Fargo noted that shrimp and pork could be a protein alternative for cost-conscious hosts. Average pork product prices have increased just 3.1% compared to last year, while shrimp prices are trailing below their five-year average despite the recent inflation surge.
Serving up a cold beer will be one of the steepest expenses for holiday hosts. Prices are up nearly 25% year-over-year, according to Nielsen data cited in the Wells Fargo analysis. Meanwhile, a bottle of wine is a relative bargain, with prices up just 5.8% since last year.
Wells Fargo’s study derives data from Urner Barry, USDA, Nielsen and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rising food costs contributed to an inflation reading that jumped to a four-decade high of 8.6% in May – and a separate study found that higher prices are impacting Americans’ plans for this Fourth of July.
A Wallet Hub survey found 57% of Americans said inflation would affect their holiday plans over the weekend. A whopping 66% said they planned to spend less money on festivities relative to last summer.
Just 56% of respondents said they felt financially independent ahead of this year’s holiday.