AFBF Reports Quarterly Food Costs

Most food items in survey increased over last quarter.

Published on: Apr 6, 2010
The American Farm Bureau Federation's Marketbasket survey shows a modest increase in retail food prices during the first quarter. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare a meal was $45.54 - 6% higher than the fourth quarter of 2009. Of the 16 items surveyed, 14 increased and two decreased in average price.

Shredded cheddar cheese, deli ham, apples, vegetable oil, bacon, boneless chicken breasts and eggs increased the most in dollar value from quarter-to-quarter. Shredded cheddar cheese increased 62 cents to $4.26 per pound; sliced deli ham increased 48 cents to $4.83 per pound; apples increased 25 cents to $1.50 per pound; vegetable oil increased 23 cents to $2.74; bacon and boneless chicken breasts increased 22 cents to $3.22 and $2.93 per pound, respectively; and eggs increased 19 cents to $1.74 per dozen.  On the down side of the ledger, white bread was down 11 cents to $1.71 for a 20-oz. loaf; and ground chuck was down 6 cents to $2.63 per pound.

AFBF Economist John Anderson points out that improved demand for milk and dairy products here at home and from export markets was the driving factor behind higher retail prices. At the same time, higher retail prices for some meats were due to reduced supplies.

Using the "food at home and away from home" percentage across-the-board, the farmer's share of this quarter's $45.54 marketbasket would be $8.65.