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News - KY retail food prices higher in Q4, up slightly overall in 2010


  • January 04, 2011

The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in December 2010, indicates that average retail food prices increased in supermarkets across the state during the fourth quarter of the year.
 
According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $109.21 – up by $2.71, or approximately 2.5 percent, from the same list of items reported in the third quarter of 2010. The fourth quarter 2010 Marketbasket total is $3.93, or 3.7 percent, higher than the same reporting period in 2009 ($105.28), but $2.42, or 2.2 percent, lower than the fourth quarter of 2008 ($111.63).
 
While 16 of the items on the list experienced decreases in average price, the overall Marketbasket price increased. Higher costs were reported for 22 items, while two items – cucumbers and a 24-slice package of American cheese – had no change in average price.
 
Of the six food groups recorded in the survey – beef, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, pork, and poultry – the fruits and vegetables category showed the greatest total increase with an average price jump of 10.9 percent. A 32 oz. bottle of vegetable oil made the largest single-item increase with an average price jump of $1.04. The largest single-item decrease was for one pound of chicken breasts, dropping an average of $0.49 in price.
 
The Marketbasket survey’s top five average price increases reported for items in the fourth quarter of 2010 were:
 
ITEM SEP 2010 DEC 2010 PRICE INCREASE
Vegetable Oil $2.24 / 32 oz. $3.28 / 32 oz. +$1.04 / 32 oz.
+46.3%
Rib-Eye Steak $8.76 / lb. $9.56 / lb. +$0.80 / lb.
+9.1%
Tomatoes $1.42 / lb. $2.01 / lb. +$0.59 / lb.
+41.6%
Frozen Corn $1.03 / 10 oz. $1.40 / 10 oz. +$0.37 / 10 oz.
+36.0%
Whole Fryers $1.17 / lb. $1.53 / lb. +$0.36 / lb.
+30.8%
 
The Marketbasket survey’s top five average price decreases reported for items in the fourth quarter of 2010 were:
 
ITEM SEP 2010 DEC 2010 PRICE DECREASE
Chicken Breasts $2.98 / lb. $2.49 / lb. -$0.49 / lb.
-16.4%
Corn Oil $2.83 / 32 oz. $2.35 / 32 oz. -$0.48 / 32 oz.
-16.9%
Sirloin Tip Roast $4.15 / lb. $3.68 / lb. -$0.47 / lb.
-11.3%
Cottage Cheese $2.19 / 16 oz. $1.96 / 16 oz. -$0.23 / 16 oz.
-10.5%
Mild Cheddar Cheese $3.90 / lb. $3.68 / lb. -$0.22 / lb.
-5.6%
All-Purpose Flour $2.09 / 5 lbs. $1.87 / 5 lbs. -$0.22 / 5 lbs.
-10.5%
 
Based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Price Index data released in December, food pricing at the national level has increased at a relatively modest rate – 1.5 percent overall – during the last 12 months. Kentucky fared slightly better than the national average. The price of the 40 items in the Marketbasket Survey averaged out to $106.95 for all of 2010, up $1.19, or 1.1 percent, from 2009’s average total of $105.76, but was significantly lower – $4.43, or 4.0 percent – less than the $111.38 total in 2008.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year. Of that money, 58 percent is used to purchase food that is eaten at home and 42 percent is for food eaten away from home (mainly at restaurants). As Americans continue to enjoy some of the lowest food prices in the world, agricultural efficiency has also increased to the point where each U.S. farmer today produces enough food and fiber for 155 people. On average, each farmer only produced enough food and fiber for 115 people in 1980 and just 19 people in 1940. A farmer’s current share of the retail food dollar in America is approximately 19 cents, down significantly from the 31 cents earned as recently as 1980.
 
Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation has conducted its regional Marketbasket survey for four decades as a tool to reflect local retail food pricing trends and their relationship to what farmers receive for their raw commodities. Cities reporting on the Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey for the fourth quarter of 2010 include: Augusta, Bardstown, Brandenburg, Brownsville, Campbellsville, Danville, Elkton, Glasgow, Harrodsburg, Hodgenville, Jackson, Madisonville, Manchester, Mt. Washington, Nancy, Owensboro, Paris and Shelbyville.

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