Saturday, 05 July 2014 05:26

This July 4th, your backyard barbecue may take a big bite out of your budget.

Backyard barbecues have been slowly getting more expensive, even after adjusting for inflation, according to data released in late June by research firm Rabo AgriFinance. In the past 10 years, beef prices have climbed an inflation-adjusted 44%, pickles 19%, bread 16%, lettuce 11%, ice cream 4% and chips 3%. And all-in-all, the price of having your friends over and firing up the grill has climbed roughly 5% since the recession to an average of $66.82, the data revealed.

What's more, government data reveals that those are far from the only barbecue staples whose prices are creeping upwards. The latest CPI data shows that pork prices climbed 2.4% just from April to May and bacon in particular saw huge jumps, rising 5.1% over that period. Now, a pound of sliced bacon will set you back more than $6. The data also show big jumps in apple and citrus fruit prices, so you may want to make a little less of your famous fruit salad this year, as well as dessert staples like cookies, cakes and cupcakes.

There are a variety of factors impacting food prices. Recent hikes in beef prices are due in part to small cattle herds and higher pork prices are thanks to a disease called PED that's killing small pigs. Fruit and veggie prices were pushed upward by the California drought and some dairy prices by increased international demand for dairy, according to analysts.

To be sure, some staples are decreasing in cost. The price of a chicken breast has declined 17% over the past decade (though recently has up-ticked slightly) and cheese has declined 11% over that period, according to Rabo AgriFinance.


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