Food Prices Keep Sliding Lower

Market basket survey shows retail food products saw a drop for the third consecutive quarter.

Published on: Jul 6, 2009

The American Farm Bureau Federation keeps tabs on a market basket of food items to have a better understanding of the food prices consumers pay at the local grocery store. And in the latest report from the organization, those prices are down slightly for a third consecutive quarter, based on data collected in May.

The informal survey showed the total cost for 16 food items was $46.29, down about $1.12 - or 2% - from the first quarter of 2009. Of the 16 surveyed, 10 fell, five rose and one remained the same compared to the prior quarter.

The biggest drops came for boneless chicken breasts, eggs, Russet potatoes, sliced deli ham and whole milk. Ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, flower, bacon and toasted oat cereal also saw a drop.

AFBF reports that these softer prices show consumers are seeing some relief at the grocery store. The group notes that retail prices for eggs, milk, chicken breasts and bacon are significantly lower than a year ago. In a year, the average price for the market basket of foods is down $3.10, or about 6%, but retail egg prices are down 26%, milk is down 22%, chicken fell 19% and bacon dropped 11%.

The foods that fell in price the most are the least processed items in the market basket.