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Cost of summer cookout in Illinois down slightly from 10-year high

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(The Center Square) – As preparations are being made for a July 4th cookout, Illinois families are expected to see grocery store prices slightly lower than the national average.

According to the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation market basket survey, families in Illinois will pay $66.92 to host an Independence Day cookout for 10 people. That is significantly more than two years ago, but slightly lower from record highs in 2022 when inflation was running rampant.

Volunteer shoppers across the country, including Farm Bureau members and others, collected data from 240 different stores in every state and Puerto Rico.

DeAnne Bloomberg, director of issue management with the Illinois Farm Bureau, said one cookout staple costs more this year partly because of weather.

“There are several factors, but remember that drought conditions have been occurring in the West, and so that contributed to the cost of feed, and reduced the number of cows driving up beef prices,” Bloomberg said.

The price of ground beef is 4% higher this year, while the prices for chicken breasts (-9%) and pork chops (-6%) are lower this year than in 2022.

Making the biggest jump in price are hamburger buns, which are 17% more expensive this year. The biggest drop in price is for lemonade, which is down 16%.

Although historically high, the cost of the cookout breaks down to less than $7 per person.

“The United States is fortunate that we still have the most affordable food supply in the world,” Bloomberg said.

The federal government’s broader Consumer Price Index report for food at home shows an overall increase of 5.8% compared to a year ago.

“Families in Illinois and across America are struggling with higher prices at the grocery store, and farmers are no exception,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. “That’s why the Illinois Farm Bureau continues working with our legislators on passing the 2023 farm bill, which includes necessary programs to secure our domestic food supply and nutritional programs to ensure the most vulnerable have access to healthy, affordable food.

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