Posts Tagged “summer barbecue”

Food Inflation is the Highest Since 1978: Rabobank BBQ Index Rates for Last 4 Years

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Celebrating summer with a barbeque event will be costlier this year, a new economic analysis from Rabobank shows.

The 2023 Rabobank BBQ Index reveals a 10-person barbecue will cost nearly $100 this year, according to a news release. In fact, food items listed on the barbecue menu have jumped 31% since 2018, according to Rabobank.

The Russia-Ukraine war, severe drought, higher wages and rising costs of farm inputs, transportation and energy have combined to fuel broad-based inflation throughout the supply chain.


The 2023 Rabobank BBQ Index, which measures the cost of staple ingredients for a 10-person barbecue, shows that it will cost $97 to host a cookout on Independence Day this year, up from $73 in 2018.

Food prices have shot up 31% in the last four years, the biggest four-year gain since the late 1970s oil crisis, according to Rabobank.

Here are price increases over the last four years, according to Rabobank:

  • Soda: 53%.
  • White bread: 51%.
  • Potato chips: 46%.
  • Chicken: 37%.
  • Lettuce: 29%.
  • Ground beef: 25%.
  • Beer: 22%.

Despite the elevated food costs, Rabobank analysts said many consumers — particularly those under 40 — are now prioritizing experiences over goods and are willing to splurge for a special occasion.

“Consumers have taken some heavy punches but they’re still standing,” Tom Bailey, senior consumer foods analyst at Rabobank, said in the report. “They’re being shrewd in areas that don’t enrich experiences, while giving in to the urge to splurge where it matters most. With that mindset, look for spending to heat up this summer on quality meats and drinks — the recipe for a memorable barbecue.”

The trend to value “experience over things” was emerging before COVID-19, but Rabobank analysts said the shift has accelerated, especially for millennials and Generation Z. For baby boomers, spending on travel and food has increased, in part thanks to an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment to their Social Security benefits this year, according to Rabobank.

A healthy labor market is also keeping consumers willing to spend their money. The May jobs report showed that unemployment sits at 3.7%, down from its pandemic peak of 14.7% just three years ago, Rabobank economists said.

“Steady work makes it easier to justify increased spending when budgets are tight,” Bailey said in the report. “Rather than trading down to soften the blow of stubbornly high inflation, we may see consumers trading up to more premium products.”  

The Rabobank BBQ Index, according to the report, assumes an average American barbecue event on the Fourth of July with 10 adults, with each consuming the same amount of food and beverages.

The index assumes each person will consume one cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, one chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese, two handfuls of chips, a beer, a soda and a few scoops of ice cream.

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Here are Some Unique 4th of July Grilling Ideas

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IMG_6554The grilling season continues with the Fourth of July holiday, and Frieda’s, Inc. has some delicious and different holiday favorites.  These colorful suggestions will make your produce department stand out.

“Fourth of July grilling is all about summer traditions like hot dogs and burgers, but consumers are also looking to change things up a bit and make their menu a little healthier by adding more fruits and vegetables,” said Karen Caplan, Frieda’s President and CEO. “They look to Frieda’s to add more flavors and colors to their summer barbecue.”

The grilling season, which kicked off with Memorial Day, continues with Independence Day and concludes on Labor Day weekend. 

Here are some of Frieda’s featured Fourth of July grilling items that shoppers will be looking for in their favorite retail stores:

Star Spangled Spuds

Nothing says Fourth of July like red, white, and blue potatoes!  Parboil them and finish on the grill. Or follow a delicious recipe for potato salad on the package.

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes

Our brilliant colored tubers will liven up any gathering. Cut into wedges or ½ inch-thick slices, toss in olive oil, and put them right on the grill.

Fresh Ghost and Trinidad Scorpion Chiles

No chile lover would pass up the opportunity to test their limits with two of the world’s hottest chile peppers. Use sparingly in a salsa or homemade hot sauce as a condiment on grilled meat and vegetables.

Maui Onions

Brushed with olive oil and grill or served up fresh, no hamburger is complete without these sweet, pungent slices. 

Angelcots®, Fuyu Persimmons, and Fresh Figs

Grilling adds depth to sweet and succulent fruits. They are transformed altogether once wrapped in bacon and grilled, lightly brushed with balsamic vinegar.

Yellow Seedless Watermelons

Simply brush slices with honey and grill until marked. Make into a salad with feta and fresh mint, or just finish with a squeeze of lime for a refreshing dessert.

 About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Inc. celebrates more than 50 years of innovation in fresh produce. Founded in 1962 by Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s was the first wholesale produce company in the U.S. to be founded, owned and operated by a woman, and is still a family- and women-owned business today. With the mission of changing the way America eats fruits and vegetables, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 specialty items to U.S. produce departments, including Kiwifruit, Spaghetti Squash, Habanero Peppers, Black Garlic and many more. Frieda’s officially declared 2013 as The Year of Purple. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce and

Source: Frieda’s Inc.

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