By now, most consumer’s aren’t surprised to walk down the aisles of a supermarket and see prices that would’ve been unfathomable just a few years ago. That’s what inflation does, and we’ve mostly gotten used to spending more on groceries these days.
But when a special occasion comes along — like the recent Memorial Day long weekend — the sticker shock can once again result in an unpleasant surprise.
Breaking down the costs
If you’re one of the many Americans who rang in the unofficial start of summer with a cookout, there were probably a few common items on your shopping list. In order to determine the real impact of rising prices, let’s take a look at how much more expensive barbecue staples are this year compared to last Memorial Day, according to a recent survey:
- Ketchup was up by nearly 28% in some cases
- The cost of mustard increased by about 13%
- Relish prices increased by more than 12%
- Buns for hot dogs and hamburgers shot up 7.4%
- Ribeye steaks were 11.4% more expensive
There was one rare decrease on the list: A pack of 80/20 hamburger patties dipped by a scant three cents. But overall, the seven ingredients surveyed cost $27.32 this year — a 9% increase over last year’s total of just over $25.
Are things getting better?
The latest Consumer Price Index results showed that year-over-year inflation was at 7.7%, which is lower than the 9% average for holiday cookout staples but far higher than any shopper wants to see.
While the Federal Reserve has set its goal at 2%, its efforts to bring prices down haven’t been all that successful thus far. In a forecast earlier this year, the central bank tempered expectations by suggesting inflation could be down to as low as 3.3% by the end of 2023.