USA News

Inflation Strikes July 4 Cookouts: Cost of Meat and Fireworks Up Over 25%

As the U.S. endures rising inflation, Americans celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend with cookouts and at-home fireworks displays will be paying more to entertain their friends and families.

To most shoppers, this will come as no surprise. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to labor and supply chain shortages that have increased the cost of products across the board. In May, the average cost of consumer goods and services rose 8.6% from the same time last year, the fastest increase in U.S. prices since December 1981.

An NBC analysis of the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found double-digit percentage increases in prices for many Fourth of July staples, from hot dogs and fireworks to soda and ice cream.

Here’s what that looks like:

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Barbecue

National average price, May 2021 to May 2022

Most Fourth of July cookouts aren’t complete without some burgers and hot dogs on the grill. According to Instacart, hot dogs and hot dog buns were the top selling grocery items in the week leading up to July Fourth last year. 

The national average price of hot dogs has risen 43% over last year, a bigger uptick than hamburgers, chicken or pork chops. In general, meat, egg and milk prices have soared well above inflation and other groceries, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fireworks and Travel

National average price, May 2021 to May 2022

Shoppers looking for roman candles or snappers will find the price of fireworks has risen 25%-30% over last year, according to a major U.S. firework retailer.

Demand for consumer fireworks has been up since the start of the pandemic, and William Weimer, vice president of Phantom Fireworks, said that high shipping costs and labor shortages have led to the spike in prices. While 2022 sales are not finalized, despite a firework shortage last year, Phantom Fireworks sold 428.8 million pounds of product, its most ever.

Americans traveling for the holiday weekend also will be hit hard at the pump. The national average for a regular gallon of gas remains near the $5 mark, more than double what it was in October 2020.

Beverages

National average price, May 2021 to May 2022

A cooler packed with icy drinks is a staple at any summer barbecue. While the price of wine has remained largely unchanged, even falling slightly, other drinks, like beer and soda, will cost more ahead of July Fourth.

Soda in particular is reflecting inflation. The average cost of 12 ounces of soda was 47 cents in May 2022, a 22% increase from a year earlier. Beer also will be more expensive, with the average cost up around 8%, according to the most recent available data.

Desserts and Sides

National average price, May 2021 to May 2022

Most holiday celebrations also call for plenty of snacks to share and a dessert table. This year, the cost of common desserts and sides is up more than 10% from a year earlier.

The prices of potato chips and ice cream increased 14%, with chocolate cookies right behind at 12%.

But some food manufacturers won’t raise the cost of their products. Instead, hosts may find their favorite snacks and treats aren’t going as far as they used to. Snacks can be a prime candidates for “shrinkflation,” a practice where manufacturers downsize their products to avoid raising prices. For example, Tillamook, an Oregon-based creamery, shrank its ice-cream cartons from 56 ounces to 48 ounces during a rise in inflation last year.

Inflation or not, most Americans are going ahead with the festivities. About 60% of those surveyed are grilling this weekend and over half are getting together with friends and family, according to market research firm Numerator.

File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close