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Hot dogs, buns, and beer: Memorial Day BBQ will, again, cost you more this year

Hot dogs, potato chips, and hamburger buns, among other BBQ staples, are going to cost you again this holiday weekend.

Here's the deal: The Bureau of Labor Statistics' April Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.9% in April compared to the same period in 2022. Last month, the cost of food overall was up 7.7%. Groceries, in particular, were up 7.1%.

Examples: Hot dogs and poultry cost more year-over-year, up 2.2% and up 5.0% respectively. Meanwhile, uncooked ground beef saw a decline of 2.1% compared to last year. Still, it's higher compared to the month prior, up 0.6%. On average, ground beef costs $4.65 per pound last month. That's only slightly lower than last year, which was approximately $4.70 per pound, but higher than the $3.96 figure back in 2020.

Beef inflation was brought higher after a drought impacted cattle supply, said Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo's chief agricultural economist, and it will take a few years to fully recover. However, it is unclear what is driving inflation for hot dogs and poultry.


Spices, seasonings, condiments, sauces? They'll cost more too, up 10.3% year-over-year, as consumer product goods companies like Kraft Heinz (KHC) lap price increases. In Q4, Kraft Heinz's prices were 15.2 percentage points higher than the same time period a year prior.

The price of hot dog and hamburger buns are higher too. On a yearly basis, prices for bakery products are up 12.9% with white bread driving the cost higher, up 14.3%. For a pound of white bread, it will cost $1.96. That's the highest price ever recorded, per BLS records, which date back to 1980.

If you're looking to bring dessert, there's bad news on that price front too. Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies were up 14.1%. Cookies alone were up a whopping 15.9%.

There's also bad news for side dishes. "Sweet corn... that's really a very seasonal market. We've had some tough issues...with the rain in California and Mexico, those kind of markets are week to week, literally," said Swanson.

Americans are prepping their BBQ plans for this Memorial Day weekend. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
Americans are prepping their BBQ plans for this Memorial Day weekend. (Courtesy: Getty Images) (SimpleImages via Getty Images)

Fresh vegetable prices were up 1.4% compared to last year, driven by potatoes, up 7.5%; lettuce was also up: 3.9%. Salad dressing, well that'll cost more too, up 14.8% year-over-year, despite a 0.3% drop on a monthly basis.

Snacks: Be ready to pay up for the likes of Lay's Potato Chips and Doritos (PEP). Prices for the snack category overall are up 10.1% compared to 2022.

Also: Alcoholic beverages have increased by 4.6% compared to last year; carbonated drinks are up 11.9% compared to last year.

The good news? No product shortages.

"I don't think there's really...a screaming bargain out there," said Swanson. "But there's certainly good availability."

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at

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