KFB Marketbasket Survey Shows 2019 Ending with Slight Increase in Overall Food Prices for Consumers

Posted on Jan 15, 2020

(Louisville, KY – January 13, 2020) The Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Marketbasket Survey results from the fourth quarter of 2019 indicate price fluctuations to most food items and a slight increase in the overall cost of food over the course of the year.

The Marketbasket Survey is taken four times per year at the end of each quarter to monitor overall and categorical trends in food prices across the Commonwealth. The survey gathers the prices of 40 basic food items throughout the state and then averages the numbers into six categories: beef, pork, poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and grains. 

The average overall cost of food increased during three of the four quarters in 2019, ending with an average of $118.74. Despite slight overall increases in recent years, the average marketbasket price is still lower than the costs seen in 2014-2016.

The Marketbasket Survey is taken four times per year at the end of each quarter to monitor overall and categorical trends

The survey also shows that while the 2019 average marketbasket costs fluctuated throughout the year, consumers are not seeing a significant increase in the overall cost of food.

Similar to Kentucky findings, national results from the Consumer Price Index report shows a slight increase in overall food prices throughout 2019.

Marketbasket Survey specifics:

The fourth quarter prices of specific items and commodities remained a mixed bag with some items contributing to the overall price increase, while others decreased. Increases in beef and poultry were likely due to seasonal demand while other surveyed items remained somewhat steady. Grains saw the largest decrease, percentage-wise at 3.92 percent.  

Agricultural Economics in Food Prices:

Whether or not U.S. grocery prices fluctuate from one quarterly survey to the next, Kentuckians and all Americans continue to enjoy some of the lowest food prices in the world. Shoppers in the U.S. spend only about seven percent of their disposable income on food each year. Those costs remain far lower than any other country in the world thanks to many of the agricultural efficiencies utilized in America. The average U.S. farmer produces enough food and fiber to provide for about 154 people – a number that has continuously grown since 1940 when the average was 19 people per farmer.