The average price for a barbecue, consisting of eight hot dogs, eight hamburgers, buns for both, and condiments, is $27.32 in 2023, up by 9% compared to the average of $25.07 in 2022. The price of condiments has greatly contributed to this increase, as the price of a 32-ounce bottle of ketchup increased by 28%, going from $4.08 last year to $5.22, according to statistics compared by Datasembly for MarketWatch.
“Most people will be paying more for the hamburger bun and condiments than they did a year ago, and the price of beer has also increased,” food economist David Ortega told the New York Post.
Mustard, like ketchup, has also experienced a price hike, with a 20-ounce container going up 13.04% from a price of $2.07 to $2.34. Hot dog and hamburger buns, likewise, have both gone up by over 7%, with the former going from $2.85 to $3.06, and the latter up from $2.84 to $3.05.
It is not all bad news, however, as the price of hot dogs only went up slightly, going from $3.34 to $3.44. Fresh ground beef actually went down in price from last year, going from $7.04 to $7.01.
The increased Memorial Day prices came after inflation unexpectedly rose to a 4.4% annual rate in April, as measured by the gauge favored by the Federal Reserve. Likewise, Core PCE inflation, a measure of inflation that strips out energy and food prices and is generally less volatile, clocked in at a 4.7% year-over-year rate.
"We will be sticking with the forecast for the Fed to keep rates unchanged through the remainder of this year," said Ryan Sweet, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. "However, odds are rising that we will be altering the forecast for the fed funds rate in 2024, reducing the number of rate cuts."