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July 4th Picnic Food Is Under $6 Per Person, Farm Group Says

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Traditional picnic food for the July 4 Independence Day holiday in the U.S., including hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad, will cost less than $6 a person, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The average cost of feeding 10 people a typical July 4 meal will be $57.20, or $5.72 per person, based on a survey of prices collected by 60 volunteer shoppers in 22 states, the Washington-based farm group said today in a statement. The 14 items were ground beef, hot dogs, buns for both, cheese slices, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon, ketchup and mustard.

While figures for previous years weren’t available, John Anderson, the AFBF’s deputy chief economist, estimated prices are up as much as 3 percent from 2012.

“The cost is an affordable $5.72 a person,” Anderson said in a telephone interview. “For most people, that is not going to be a limiting factor.”

Grocery food costs will rise as much as 3.5 percent this year, including a gain of as much as 4 percent for meat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a June 25 report. Beef prices in May were up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, while poultry was up 5.6 percent, the USDA said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marley DelDuchetto in Chicago at mdelduchett2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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