Higher retail prices for several food items used to prepare breakfast, including bacon, eggs and bread, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey.
Findings of the informal survey show the average total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.27, up $1.73 or about 3.5 percent compared to a survey conducted a year ago.
“The 3.5 percent increase shown by our survey tracks closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent food inflation for 2014,” said John Anderson, AFBF deputy chief economist.
Items showing retail price increases from a year ago included bacon, up 12 percent to $4.80 per pound; ground chuck, up 10 percent to $4.10 per pound; white bread, up 10 percent to $1.81 for a 20-ounce loaf; sirloin tip roast, up 9 percent to $5.03 per pound; eggs, up 8 percent to $1.98 per dozen; whole milk, up 6 percent to $3.68 per gallon; chicken breasts, up 6 percent to $3.51 per pound; flour, up 5 percent to $2.76 for a 5-pound bag; toasted oat cereal, up less than 1 percent to $2.93 for a 9-ounce box; and Russet potatoes, up less than one-half of 1 percent to $2.70 for a 5-pound bag.
The following items showed modest retail price decreases: bagged salad, down 4 percent to $2.61 per pound; deli ham, down 3 percent to $5.21 per pound; apples, down 3 percent to $1.59 per pound; vegetable oil, down 2 percent to $2.85 for a 32-ounce bottle; and orange juice, down 1 percent to $3.24 per half-gallon.
Shredded Cheddar cheese remained the same in price compared to a year ago, at $4.47 per pound.
Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following average prices: half a gallon of regular milk, $2.46; half a gallon of rBST-free milk, $3.87; half a gallon of organic milk, $3.97; and a dozen cage-free eggs, $3.33.
The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food eaten at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average consumer food dollar that America’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.
Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this $53.27 marketbasket would be $8.52.
Eighty-nine shoppers in 27 states participated in the latest AFBF survey, conducted in March.