According to the latest informal Wisconsin Farm Bureau Marketbasket survey, the total cost of 12 food items used to host a summer cookout for 10 totaled $66.72, down 4.2% from last year’s state average.
The same survey conducted on the national level by American Farm Bureau totaled $67.73 which is 3% lower than last year’s national average.
“The diversity in agriculture in Wisconsin certainly helps when it comes to summer cookout costs,” said WFBF’s Director of Media Relations and Outreach Cassie Sonnentag. “Our availability of and proximity to dairy, vegetable and meat processors helps reduce overhead costs, allowing Wisconsin prices to stay below national averages.”
Wisconsin’s $66.72 survey price is more than a dollar less than AFBF’s survey of the same food items. While the cost of a summer cookout remains less than $7 per person, it is the still the second highest total since the survey’s inception which peaked in 2022 due to supply chain disruptions, inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“It is important to remember prices seen in the grocery store are not a windfall for farmers. Just like those they are growing food for, farmers feel price-point pain, as well,” Sonnentag said. “Farmers are price takers, not price makers, and the high costs of inputs such as fuel and fertilizer continue to affect farmers’ bottom dollar.”
One way to reduce the impact of food costs in the home is exercising sustainable shopping habits. Approximately one-third of human food produced in the United States is lost or wasted, so using items effectively and creatively is a simple, easy way to stretch the food dollar.
“Simple steps like sticking to a grocery list, repurposing leftovers and correctly storing produce are easy yet effective ways to get the most of your food expenditures,” Sonnentag said. “Farmers and consumers alike can utilize every resource to maintain their bottom line while reducing their environmental impact.”
Wisconsin Farm Bureau recently launched an online resource called Gather Wisconsin, helping consumers make connections between food, farming and their families. The website includes information on sustainable swaps within the home, clarification of best-by, use-by and sell-by dates, and tips for proper food storage.
These resources and more are available now at www.gatherwisconsin.com.
The July Cookout Survey is part of Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket series, which also includes an annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey.
Members of Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected price samples of 12 food items in 19 communities across Wisconsin in June.