Beverages: Ask your friends to bring the beer, as it comprises 28% of the total barbecue cost. The price of 20 beers has increased by 10 percent over the past five years, as the popularity of more expensive "craft" beers has pushed domestic and premium prices upward. "The two weeks leading up to holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are some of the biggest in beer sales, regardless of price," said a Rabobank beverages analyst. "However, companies will still heavily promote their products and consumers typically load up on beer at home during these key weekends."Soda prices have increased a small four percent over the last five years and are down one percent year-over-year, as slower consumer demand has increased the amount of discounting.
Bread/Snacks: Price-wise it makes sense to keep burgers in the bun: prices are flat compared to 2013 and down one percent over 5 years. In general, wheat prices are dropping with the whole grain complex due to increased global production, particularly this year. Chip prices are also down because people are moving towards lower-fat snack foods, decreasing three percent year-over-year.
Veggies: The drought in Mexico increased prices for tomatoes by 12 percent compared to last year but vegetables are, as always, the lowest percentage of the Index and the healthier items.
* On a liquid milk equivalent (LME) basis
** March 2014 journal Annals of Internal Medicine
Overview Rationale and Methodology
The Rabobank BBQ Index assumes an average American family/neighborly BBQ situation, which might take place over the 4th of July. The Index assumes an average of 10 adults attends; hypothetically, each person consumes the same amount of food and beer. Each individual is assumed to consume two burgers (one chicken, one beef) with a slice of cheese, five handfuls of chips, a couple of beers, a can of soda, a pickle and a couple scoops of ice cream.
As a means of comparison, the BBQ Index parallels the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a data source. The series we selected was the “average price index, US city average”, which is a monthly series. We based our index on the January 1, 2000 price. The formula for the weighting is (sum of component*weighting)/(base sum of component*weighting)*)100.
Components and Weighting by Value:
– Lettuce – $.99: 1% of total barbecue
– Tomatoes – $1.95: 3%
– Cheese – $2.90: 4%
– Bread – $2.80: 4%
– Soda – $3.58: 5%