Prices for foods favored at summer cookouts and picnics have risen from last year, according to an informal survey of food prices conducted by Indiana Farm Bureau volunteers, but they remain well below the average total recorded in 2009.
This is the third year IFB has supplemented its regular quarterly informal "market-basket" survey with a special survey geared toward those summer cookout and picnic foods. Like the quarterly surveys, the cookout market basket isn't a true survey but is instead a snapshot of grocery prices throughout the state.
The cookout market basket includes enough food to feed 10 people. Items include prepared potato salad, ground round, hot dogs, baked beans, condiments, American cheese, hamburger and hotdog buns, cola and potato chips.
For 2011, the market basket survey's average total for these 11 items was $32.45 (or about $3.25 per person), up $1.60 from the 2010 total, but down $2.27 from the 2009 total. Totals from the individual shoppers ranged as low as $19.26 and as high as $36.77 for the 11 items.
Nine of the 11 items included on the survey increased in price since last year's survey. The item that contributed the most to the overall increase was 2 pounds of ground round, which increased by 58 cents (29 cents/pound) for a total of $6.80. Also showing increases were a 10-pack of hotdogs, which rose by 32 cents to $2.42; prepared potato salad, up by 25 cents to $5.02 for a 3-pound container; two bags of potato chips, which increased by 22 cents (11 cents per bag) for a total of $5.38; two 2-liter bottles of cola, which rose by 16 cents to $2.76 for the two bottles; a 28-ounce can of baked beans, up 16 cents to $2.10; and hotdog buns, up 8 cents to $1.38 for an 8-count bag; hamburger, up 7 cents to $1.35 for an 8-count bag; an 8-ounce jar of mustard, which rose by 8 cents to $1.34.
Two items on the survey showed decreases: a 10-pack of hotdogs dropped 32 cents to $2.42; a 24-ounce bottle of ketchup dropped 22 cents to $1.28; and a 16-slice pack of American cheese dropped 4 cents to $2.62
To find a farmer in your area who offers homegrown produce, meats and other products, visit the Indiana Department of Agriculture's interactive online directory, www.in.gov/apps/ISDA_FarmersMarket/.