Grocery shoppers facing slightly higher prices, AFBF says

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 - Shoppers at grocery stores are facing slightly higher prices compared to the first half of 2013, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) Semi-Annual Marketbasket survey.

The informal survey said shoppers are facing higher retail prices for meat items such as boneless chicken breasts and dairy products, among other foods.

AFBF found the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.20, up $1.66 or about 3 percent compared to a survey conducted about six months ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, 11 increased and five decreased in average price.

“Several poultry and dairy product items increased in price during the second half of the year, accounting for much of the increase in the marketbasket,” said John Anderson, AFBF's deputy chief economist. “As anticipated, food prices have increased by about 3 percent so far during the year, which is slightly higher than the average rate of inflation over the past 10 years.”

Lets Talk Food

AFBF said retail prices increased for the following items:

  • Chicken breasts, up 61 cents to $3.93 per pound.
  • Russet potatoes, up 49 cents to $3.18 for a 5-pound bag.
  • Bacon, up 43 cents to $4.71 per pound.
  • Whole milk, up 25 cents to $3.71 per gallon.
  • Vegetable oil, up 20 cents to $3.12 for a 32-ounce bottle.
  • Orange juice, up 19 cents to $3.47 per half-gallon.
  • White bread, up 18 cents to $1.83 for a 20-ounce loaf.
  • Toasted oat cereal, up 18 cents to $3.09 for a 9-ounce box.
  • Bagged salad, up 12 cents to $2.83 per pound.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, up 4 cents to $4.51 per pound.
  • Flour, up 4 cents to $2.66 for a 5-pound bag.

 The survey also found decreases for the following products:

  • Deli ham, down 68 cents to $4.71 per pound.
  • Sirloin tip roast, down 28 cents to $4.35 per pound.
  • Ground chuck, down 5 cents to $3.69 per pound.
  • Apples, down 4 cents to $1.59 per pound.
  • Eggs, down 2 cents to $1.82 per dozen.

The survey said as retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that U.S. farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department's revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said.

According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 79 shoppers in 25 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in September.

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