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News - Kentucky’s retail food prices holding steady in first quarter of 2012


  • April 03, 2012

The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in March 2012, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across the state are currently holding steady, decreasing just slightly during the first quarter of the year. According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $115.71. This reflects a decrease of $0.19, or 0.2 percent, from the same list of items reported in the previous quarter.

For the third consecutive quarter the Marketbasket Survey has shown decreases in the average total price of retail food prices in Kentucky. The newest figure is only $0.77, or less than 0.1 percent, higher than the same reporting period in 2011, but it still remains $12.09, or 11.7 percent, higher than the first quarter of 2010.

Of the six food groups recorded in the most recent survey – beef, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, pork, and poultry – the poultry category showed the greatest total decrease with an average price drop of 8.7 percent. The beef category made the largest average increase of 3.7 percent. Mild cheddar cheese had the greatest single-item decrease with an average price drop of $0.60 per pound, while the highest single-item increase was T-bone steak, climbing an average of $0.71 per pound. Overall, 22 of the 40 items in this survey experienced decreases in average price, 17 increased, and one went unchanged (center cut pork chops).

The Marketbasket survey’s top five average price decreases reported for items in the first quarter of 2012 were:

ITEM DEC 2011 MAR 2012 PRICE DECREASE
Mild Cheddar Cheese $4.91 / lb. $4.31 / lb.

-$0.60 / lb.
-12.2%
 

Cut-Up Fryers $1.98 / lb. $1.47 / lb. -$0.51 / lb.
-25.8%
 
American Cheese $3.67 / 24 slices $3.30 / 24 slices -$0.37 / 24 slices
-10.1%
 
Chicken Breasts $2.34 / lb. $2.13 / lb. -$0.21 / lb.
-8.9%
 
Potato Chips $2.80 / 8 oz. twin $2.62 / 8 oz. twin -$0.18 / 8 oz. twin
-6.4%
 

The Marketbasket survey’s top five average price increases reported for items in the first quarter of 2012 were:

ITEM DEC 2011 MAR 2012 PRICE INCREASE
T-Bone Steak $9.10 / lb. $9.81 / lb. +$0.71 / lb.
+7.8%
 
Chuck Roast $4.00 / lb. $4.29 / lb. +$0.29 / lb.
+7.2%
 
Vanilla Ice Cream $3.12 / 1/2-gal. $3.41 / 1/2-gal. +$0.29 / 1/2-gal.
+9.2%
 
All-Purpose Flour $2.31 / 5 lbs. $2.60 / 5 lbs. +$0.29 / 5 lbs.
+12.5%
 
Idaho Potatoes $3.89 / 10 lbs. $4.26 / 10 lbs. +$0.28 / 10 lbs.
+9.5%
 

Kentucky’s retail food prices identified by this quarter’s Marketbasket Survey closely match recent national trends. Based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index data released in mid-March (which reflects figures through February 2012), national food prices made no changes in the last reported month. Over the past 12 months, however, the national average price has climbed a total of 4.5 percent.

Americans continue to enjoy some of the lowest food prices in the world and spend only about 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year. U.S. food costs remain far lower than that of other countries thanks in large part to agricultural efficiencies utilized in America. Putting those efficiencies to use currently allows the average U.S. farmer to produce enough food and fiber to provide for about 154 people. In 1980 each farmer only produced enough food and fiber for 115 people, and that output drops to just 19 people when looking back to 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Food Dollar Series, a farmer earns less than 16 cents per dollar spent on food, down significantly from the 31 cents earned as recently as 1980.

Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation has conducted its regional Marketbasket survey over the past 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 first quarter of 2012 include: Ashland, Augusta, Bardstown, Bowling Green, Brandenburg, Brownsville, Danville, Eddyville, Falmouth, Glasgow, Grayson, Greensburg, Harrodsburg, Hillview, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Mayfield, Maysville, McKee, Mt. Washington, Munfordville, Murray, Nancy, Owensboro, Owingsville, Richmond, Russellville, Shelbyville, Stanford, Tollesboro and Walton.

 

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