Accuracy in Media

Barring a last-minute unexpected plunge in the Consumer Price Index, get ready for the Fourth of July 2022 to be a lot more expensive than last year’s holiday. 

It was just a year ago that the White House bragged that it had done such a good job managing the economy that prices were coming down, as the Farm Bureau released a list showing that consumers would pay “just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year,” 2020.  

“Farm Bureau analysis reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at $59.50, or less than $6 per person,” according to the Bureau’s press release. 

“The cost for the cookout is down just 16 cents (less than 1%) from last year, but 8% higher compared to 2019,” the Bureau said. 

On that basis, the White House tweeted an ill-advised slide show that said Americans should be grateful to the Biden White House for saving them 16 cents on the $60 cost of a cookout for 10 people.

“Planning a cookout this year?” the Biden White House tweeted. “Ketchup on the news. According to the Farm Bureau, the cost of a 4th of July BBQ is down from last year. It’s a fact you must-hear(d). Hot dog, the Biden economic plan is working. And that’s something we can all relish.”

Using data from the Federal Reserve, Accuracy in Media updated the prices of the underlying commodities in the Farm Bureau list for 2022, only eliminating fresh-squeezed lemonade, pork and beans, and chocolate chip cookies because of the difficulty in making a consistent year-over-year comparison for these items.  

Data compiled by the Federal Reserve

For all but two items – cheese and pork chops —prices are near or greatly exceed the CPI for May. Cheese and pork chop prices are up 5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. 

Unlike in 2021, no items were priced lower this year over last year. 

Topping the list of price increases was white flour, which is up 24 percent over last year ($0.368 in 2021 vs $0.456 in 2022  +$0.088 per pound) according to the Fed, and skinless, boneless chicken breasts, up 23 percent ($3.50 in 2021 vs $4.31 in 2022 +0.81). 

Potato chips (+12.3 percent), white potatoes (11 percent) and ground beef (+9.11 percent) follow, exceeding the May CPI reading of 8.6 percent. 

Vanilla ice cream is up 8.27 percent and strawberries are up 8 percent. 

So don’t expect the White House to be bragging about the cost of cookouts this year. AIM won’t detail what a cookout for 10 will cost this year versus last year, because it’s enough to know that it will be a lot more, without the infotainment brought to you by the White House and the Farm Bureau.  

For comparison’s sake, a complete list of the Farm Bureau 2021 prices and estimates follows: 

Individual Prices, AFBF 2021 Summer Cookout

2 pints of strawberries, $5.30 (up 22%)

13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.02 (up 11%)

8 hamburger buns, $1.66 (up 6%)

2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $2.75 (up 3%)

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $6.74 (up 1%)

32 ounces of pork & beans, $1.90 (down 13%)

2 pounds of ground beef, $8.20 (down 8%)

Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $4.69 (down 5%)

3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $11.63 (down 2%)

2.5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $3.65 (down 2%)

1 pound of sliced cheese, $4.05 (down 1%)

13-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.93 (down 1%)




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