Posted on

Hoosiers feeling pinch to the wallet ahead of Fourth

Hoosiers feeling pinch to the wallet ahead of Fourth Hoosiers feeling pinch to the wallet ahead of Fourth

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, Hoosiers seem to be facing rising prices everywhere they look, whether it’s at the pump or at the grocery store.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index rose 8.6% in May compared to a year ago, with food prices jumping 10.1% during that time. According to The American Farm Bureau Federation, the main drivers of the increase are inflation, global supply chain issues from the war in Ukraine and lingering disruptions due to COVID-19.

Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual summer cookout market basket, featuring some of America’s summertime staples like cheeseburgers, chicken breasts, potato salad, strawberries and more, revealed Hoosiers are paying an average of $64.32 on a cookout to feed 10 people this summer, or $6.43 per person, a 13% increase compared to last year.

However, Indiana’s market basket price is approximately 7.7% lower, or 56 cents less than the U.S. average price of $6.97 per person. Additionally, the Indiana price is 7.2% lower, or 54 cents less, than the average price for the Midwest region of $6.93 per person.

While food prices have increased, so have input prices for the farmers growing that food. From surging diesel costs and higher prices for seeds, fertilizer and chemicals, to the impacts of the supply chain limitations, the agricultural industry has been dealt a tough hand this planting season.

“It’s been a difficult year so far, and the increased cost in food is a concern,” said Isabella Chism, INFB second vice president. “Consumers are seeing the impacts of a perfect storm of factors that are driving up prices. This year’s summer cookout market basket reflects what Hoosiers are seeing when they go to their local grocery stores. However, our cookout costs here in Indiana are less than the average cost for the rest of the country and even our neighboring states here in the Midwest.”

In the food supply chain, just 8 cents of each consumer food dollar can be attributed to farm production, after accounting for input costs. Using this figure, the farmer’s share of this $64.32 market basket would be just slightly more than $5. The rest is for food processing, packaging, transportation, wholesale and retail distribution, food service preparation and other marketing costs.

“Generally, farmers are price takers, not price setters,” said Chism. “When our crop or animal is ready to sell, we have to sell at the current commodity price. Farmers are consumers too, and we are experiencing the surge in prices on the farm as well as in the grocery store like other Hoosier shoppers.”

The total market basket price of $64.32 includes ground beef, cheese, hamburger buns, pork chops, chicken breasts, pork and beans, potato salad, strawberries, chips, ice cream, cookies and lemonade.

While most items on the shopping list are more expensive than last year, strawberries and lemonade are not. Additionally, nearly all items on the shopping list came in less than the national average, most notably lemonade, hamburger buns, potato salad, pork and beans, strawberries and ice cream.

Only cheese is more expensive in Indiana this year than it is nationally. at 3 cents more than the average U.S. price, which matches the rest of the Midwest region.

The INFB summer cookout market basket survey was conducted in early June by volunteer shoppers across the state who collected prices on specific food items from one of their local grocery stores. Volunteer shoppers were asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals. Indiana’s survey was completed in conjunction with a national survey administered by the American Farm Bureau Federation.