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Hoosiers can expect slightly cheaper grocery staples ahead of the Fourth of July

Fruits at the grocery store
Decreases in the price of chicken breast, ice cream, cheese, cookies and chips brought the average market basket price down – despite increases in ground beef.

Hoosiers can expect to see some cheaper grocery prices ahead of this year’s Fourth of July.

The Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual summer cookout market basket survey measures the prices of “summertime staples” — including hamburgers, lemonade and potato salad.

Todd Davis is the chief economist for the Indiana Farm Bureau.

“The overall cost, the market basket for a, meal for 10 people is $68.33 or $6.83 per person,” Davis said. “And that's about a 2 percent decrease from last year.”

Davis said ground beef prices increased since last year, which he attributes to changes in the cattle industry.

“The cattle industry has been dealing with persistent droughts in the Southern Plains and the cattle herd is at the lowest level since 1961,” he said. “And so as supplies reduced, and you still have good demand for beef, prices are going to be higher.”

Davis said the price of pork chops are the only other product in the basket that had a price increase.

“The pork industry has been suffering some financial losses,” he said. “Iowa State [University] tracks this, and pork farmers have been dealing with financial losses since November of 2021.”

He said the pork industry is improving, but will take some time to show in pricing.

Other products experienced slight increases in prices including potato salad, lemonade, strawberries, hamburger buns, and pork and beans.

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However, decreases in the price of chicken breast, ice cream, cheese, cookies and chips bring the average market basket price down.

Davis said inflation has slowed which could be affecting these lower prices. He said Indiana is also in a prime location to see cheaper grocery prices.

“We are the crossroads of America,” he said. “We are at where the food is produced. If it isn't produced nearby, we have cheaper transportation as compared to consumers in the East Coast or West Coast.”

Janis Highley is a vice president with INFB and a farmer. She said farmers only receive about 15 cents of every retail food dollar, which can be financially difficult for those in the industry.

We have what we refer to as our input costs, such as our fertilizers, our seeds, our chemicals and things,” she said. “But then we also have to turn around and sell these products, whether it's corn, soybeans, wheat, and all those, all those markets are set for us.”

Davis said he is encouraged by lower prices and inflation over the past year. And he said Hoosiers should look for bargains in grocery stores and retailer coupons.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.