Retail Food Prices Down 1.76 Percent in Kentucky for the First Quarter of 2017

Posted on Apr 10, 2017

LOUISVILLE, KY (April 10, 2017) – Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) latest Marketbasket Survey indicates food prices continue to decline, this time to the tune of 1.76 percent or by $2.03 for the surveyed items. With this decrease, food prices in Kentucky have dropped four of the last five quarters according to the survey which measures 40 basic food items. 

This latest decline is the largest quarterly drop in the past year and is in contrast to the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. The latest CPI information notes the food index for February rose 0.2 percent following a 0.1-percent increase in January. However, long-term, the CPI still shows a 1.7 percent drop in the food at home category in 2016 with declines in six of the major grocery store food group indexes.

The largest price decreases in Kentucky for the first quarter were beef and pork with drops of 6.86 percent and 6.56 percent, respectively. The next largest decline was in the dairy category with a fall of 3.21 percent.

According to the survey, prices increased in the fruit and vegetable category at 3.96 percent; grains jumped 7.19 percent; poultry products rose by 1.97 percent. The total for all 40 items came to $115.46. This total represents a $3.46, nearly three percent, drop in prices from the same period last year.

Marketbasket Survey specifics:

The price for rib-eye steaks dropped by $1.06 per pound; a 2 lb. roll package of sausage fell by $1.05; and a 1 lb. package of cheddar cheese declined by $0.32.

A 10 lb. bag of potatoes increased by $0.40; a 5 lb. bag of self-rising corn meal increased by $0.25 and large eggs rose by $0.09 per dozen.

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. Today the average U.S. farmer produces enough food and fiber to provide for about 155 people – a significant jump from an average of 19 people per farmer back in 1940.

Yet while more food is now being produced on less land, the farmer’s share of the retail food dollar in America is down. According to the USDA’s Food Dollar Series, a farmer earns less than 17 cents per dollar spent on food, down significantly from the 31 cents earned in 1980.

INFOGRAPHIC AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD:
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