May 29, 2023 - Economy

Memorial Day barbecues cost more with inflation

Change in the price of select summer cookout staples in the U.S.
Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

With inflation still sizzling, most of the fixings for your Memorial Day weekend barbecue will cost more.

The big picture: While the latest Consumer Price Index found food prices were up 7.7% in the 12 months through April, prices for classic barbecue staples like ketchup and mustard have had much larger increases, research firm Datasembly told Axios.

  • A Memorial Day basket of seven barbecue essentials cost $27.32 in 2023 compared to $25.07 the same time last year, a nearly 9% increase, per Datasembly’s analysis.
  • More than 75% of consumers said they expect rising prices to impact their holiday spending, according to a survey by Numerator.

By the numbers: A 32-ounce bottle of ketchup had the biggest increase at 27.9%, followed by a 20-ounce bottle of mustard that went up 13% and relish up 12.3%, Datasembly found.

  • The only item with a slight decline was a pack of 80/20 fresh ground beef burgers that went down in price by 3 cents.
  • Hot dogs cost almost 3% more, Datasembly found, similar to what the April CPI showed.
  • Hamburger and hot dog buns were each up about 7.4%, per Datasembly, which is in line with rising flour and bakery product costs.

Ribeye steaks had the largest increase of beef products compared to a year ago, according to data provided to Axios from Circana OmniMarket Integrated Fresh, a Chicago-based market research firm.

  • The average price for a pound of ribeye steaks was $12.57 in the four weeks through May 14, which is up 11.6% compared to a year ago, per Circana, which tracked retail sales at U.S. supermarkets, big-box retailers, convenience stores and other locations.

Meanwhile, the U.S. average price for a pound of 100% ground beef is $4.79 as of April, according to federal data, which was down from a record high of $4.937 in August 2022.

  • Prices of ground beef vary by region with the West having the highest average price in April of $5.48 per pound and the Midwest having the lowest at $4.652 a pound, fed data showed.

Yes, but: Inflation has slowed and isn’t impacting many food prices the same way it did last summer.

  • In May 2022, hot dog prices were up 16.3% compared to the year before, CPI data showed.

More from Axios:

Go deeper