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Home-Grilled Cheeseburgers Cost 20% More than 20 Years Ago

Beef supply interruptions in the past 20 years have raised the average cost of home-grilled cheeseburgers, USDA says. While the industry has more beef production in the pipelines, demand continues to keep prices high. ( Farm Journal )

If cheeseburgers are on the menu for your July 4, they will cost a little more than they did 20 years ago, says a report from USDA-Economic Research Service (ERS).

Home-grilled burgers you serve up for the holiday will total about $1.69 in ingredients, with ground beef the largest ingredient cost at $0.92.

The same burger would have cost $0.91 to prepare in 1998, or $1.40 when adjusted for inflation.

cost of cheeseburger

The reason is largely an increase in beef prices in the past 20 years, USDA-ERS says. Supply disruptions in the 2000s and 2010s resulting in higher-average-prices for beef. Although beef production is increasing and will continue to do so, it takes longer for retail stores to retreat from higher prices.

USDA also notes that increases in efficiency over the past 20 years has helped keep prices lower for all ingredients. Inflation-adjusted retail prices for other ingredients fell from 1998 to 2018: bread, 2.8%; tomatoes, 12.3%; lettuce, 27.9%; and cheddar cheese 5.7%.

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