Just much do you think you've spent on a 4th of July barbeque this year? Astonishingly enough, that all pretty much depends on how old you are and what kind of ingredients you are gunning for. The "average" American BBQ for 10 people costs just $69.05, or $6.90 per person. That's up about $1 from last year, and up nearly $20 since 2004.
But that's an "average" BBQ for average Americans. If you're a health-conscious, foodie millennial who's picky about your ingredients, hosting a 4th of July BBQ for 10 people could easily cost you $120, or about $12 per person, almost twice the cost of a "traditional" cookout, according to Rabobank's BBQ Index.
Beef is the main cost driver for BBQs. The price ground beef has fallen 10% in the last year after nearly doubling between 2010 and 2015. It costs about $3.71 per pound as of May, according to the BLS.
But just any old beef isn't good enough for most millennials. About 7 in 10 of the twenty- or thirty-something crowd say they care about the origin of their meat. The price of hormone-free, grass-fed beef that many millennials prefer has increased by more than $1 in the last 12 months, and now runs for about $10 per pound.
A pound of chicken costs about $3.25, but that's just your average hormone-packed, factory-farmed bird. For millennials who demand free-range and hormone-free chicken, the average cost will set you back at about $5.59 per pound.
Knowing all these is important, because millennials now account for about 25% of the American population and a combined spending power of about $200 billion annually. It has to matter because most millennials are willing to spend more money on their food.
Like run-of-the-mill ground beef, stocks of so-called ‘commodity' cheese are up, driving the price down. Prices of artisanal, specialty imported cheeses on the other hand are going up thanks to an insatiable demand.
Normal cheese runs about $4.43 per pound, but the specialty cheeses preferred by millennials cost about 3 times as much, running at about $12.99 per pound.
You can't make a hamburger without buns to hold the ingredients together, and millennials are willing to pay a lot more for these fluffy dough. 4 out of 5 American consumers say they would pay more for buns with premium ingredients.
Brioche buns are the new standard at artisanal burger joints, according to Mintel's State of the Burger Report. The number of Brioche buns on menus nationwide has increased by 59% in the last 3 years, and millennials are expecting these buns at their BBQs.
The average American will pay about $1.41 for a pound of ordinary burger buns, but a millennial buying Brioche buns made with eggs, butter, milk and cream will pay about $5.49 per pound for the French pastry.
Although the price of beer has only gone up 6% in the last year, costing $1.37 per 16-ounce can now, millennials shun cheap brands in favor of locally-produced craft beer, which can easily cost as much as $12 or more for a six-pack.
All that craft beer, artisanal cheese and Brioche buns and grass-fed, hormone-free beef come together in a party for a millennial BBQ that costs almost twice as much as your "average" BBQ.
Nevertheless, millennials aren't just spendthrifts. Here's what Facebook had to say about millennials and money.