Home Indiana Agriculture News Grocery Store Prices Remain Low This Spring after Decline Last Year

Grocery Store Prices Remain Low This Spring after Decline Last Year


Grocery store prices inched up slightly this spring on the heels of a five-year low, according to Indiana Farm Bureau’s spring market basket survey.

The average cost for a family meal this spring for 10 individuals in Indiana, including 16 common food items, is $46.72, which is less than $5 per person – up only slightly for 2017 but 13 percent less than in 2016.

Of the 16 items, six foods decreased in price when compared to last year. Most notably:
– Deli ham, down 83 cents to $5.19/pound.
– Bacon, down 45 cents to $4.23/pound.
– Apples, down 34 cents to $1.45/pound.

However, 10 items increased in price when compared to last year. Most notably:
– Chicken breast, up 69 cents to $3.28/pound.
– Eggs, up 40 cents to $1.62/dozen.
– Bagged salad, up 25 cents to $2.36/pound.

“Most of the food items that saw an increase, while significant when compared to 2017, are quite steady when compared to 2016,” explained Isabella Chism, INFB 2nd vice president and chair of the women’s leadership committee. “For example, a dozen eggs increased by 40 cents when compared to 2017, but this year’s price remains 64 cents cheaper than two years ago.”

The survey’s prices compared to the last two years are:

Spring food items (INFB survey) 2016 2017 2018 % Change (Past year)
Red delicious apples (1 lb.) $1.87 $1.79 $1.45 – 19%
Russet potatoes (5 lbs.) $2.73 $2.47 $2.70 + 9%
Bagged American salad (1 lb.)       $2.06 $2.11 $2.36 + 12%
Orange juice (1/2 gallon) $3.62 $2.80 $2.84 + 1%
Ground chuck (1 lb.) $4.32 $3.83 $3.76 – 2%
Sirloin tip roast (1 lb.) $5.56 $4.89 $4.75 – 3%
Bacon (1 lb.) $4.85 $4.68 $4.23 – 10%
Sliced deli ham (1 lb.) $5.65 $6.02 $5.19 – 14%
Boneless chicken breast (1 lb.) $3.36 $2.59 $3.28 + 27%
Whole milk (1 gallon) $2.78 $2.27 $2.18 – 4%
Shredded mild cheddar cheese (1 lb.) $4.12 $4.08 $4.30 + 5%
Grade A Eggs (1 doz.) $2.26 $1.22 $1.62 + 33%
All-purpose flour (5 lbs.) $2.31 $2.15 $2.24 + 4%
Vegetable oil (32 oz.) $2.47 $1.79 $2.43 +36%
Cheerios (8-9 oz. box) $3.15 $2.04 $2.10 + 3%
White bread (20 oz. loaf) $1.50 $1.26 $1.27 + 1%
TOTAL $52.61 $45.99 $46.72 + 2%

According to the USDA’s ‘food at home and away from home’ percentage, a farmer receives almost 15 cents of each dollar. The farmer’s share of this $46.72 market basket is approximately $7. The remaining goes to the other parts of the food industry.

Shoppers will find that whole milk is roughly four percent cheaper than this time last year. While that decrease seems minimal, milk prices dropped 18 percent last year, meaning milk has seen a 22 percent decrease in price since 2016. While that may sound like good news for shoppers, the dairy industry across the country, and especially in Indiana, is suffering because of an overabundance of milk production, a decline in milk consumption and increased competition in milk processing.

In addition, Dean Foods has notified 100 dairy farms that they will no longer be purchasing milk from them as of June 1. Of the 100 farms affected, 27 of them are in Indiana.

“The dairy industry already had a lot on its plate in dealing with low milk prices,” said Randy Kron, INFB president. “Now, unfortunately, these Indiana farmers have the added task of finding a new buyer.”

“The best way to help alleviate the burden on dairy farms in this tough time is to keep buying milk and buy more of it if your situation allows,” added Chism.

The INFB survey is part of a nationwide survey compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest general farm organization, from data supplied by state Farm Bureaus. The national survey, which is compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation, shows a similar slight increase in prices.

The national survey showed the total meal cost at $51.05, up $1.02 or 2 percent compared to a year ago. Most notably, the national results also showed a substantial increase in egg prices, up 37 percent nationally compared to 33 percent in Indiana.

“A surge in egg exports combined with relatively flat production led to the strong rise in retail egg prices,” John Newton, AFBF’s director of market intelligence.

AFBF has been conducting the informal quarterly market basket survey of retail food price trends since 1989. A total of 93 shoppers (24 of them from Indiana) in 23 states participated in the latest survey, conducted earlier this month.