Market basket updateThe American Farm Bureau Federation national survey of food prices at the grocery store shows an increase from a year ago, but the Indiana portion of the market basket survey reports a decline in prices. Indiana and 26 other states make up the national totals for 16 food items that increased $1.73 to $53.27.
Isabella Chism, 2nd vice president at Indiana Farm Bureau said the lower trend in the Hoosier state could be, “just the regional accessibility of food. Sometimes it will travel a shorter distance and you will have fewer costs added onto the actual product. Indiana is a pork producing state, so pork it would reason could be a lower price for us sometimes. Milk never has to travel very far for us. It always travels less than a day to get to the consumer in Indiana, so it would stand to reason that those prices could be lower as well.”
The survey is not scientific and variances from state to national can also be partly attributed to when the market basket snapshot was taken and what prices happened to be on that day. Chism added she, like all farmers, is also a consumer and happy to see steady prices for food. And whether there is an increase or decrease, the overall farmer share of the food dollar remains very low at an average of just 15 ½ cents.
“And I think part of that is transportation and input costs into the food to get it from the farm to the grocery store and your plate. It’s the same thing with actually growing and raising that food. We have input costs as well and when you feed that animals and all that goes into it, those costs continue to go up especially based on some of our transportation costs, petroleum products and those kinds of things.”
In the Indiana survey the average price on the 16 food items decreased from spring 2013 by 51 cents for an overall total of $48.22. The same items were down 7 cents from the fall 2013 survey. Eight of the items in the survey decreased in price compared to spring 2013.
Chism is also the chair of the IFB Women’s Leadership Committee, which coordinates the survey.
As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.
“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily,” noted John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist.
The item showing the greatest decrease in Indiana’s survey from spring 2013 to spring 2014 was sirloin tip roast, which dropped by 70 cents per pound to $3.86. The other beef product on the list, ground chuck, increased in price, but only by 2 cents/pound to $3.70/pound.
Bacon, on the other hand, increased by 27 cents per pound to $4.12. Eggs also increased, rising 14 cents/dozen to $1.92.
“Several typical breakfast items increased in price, accounting for much of the modest increase in the (AFBF) market basket,” Anderson said.
Other meat products also showed decreases of varying amounts, including a pound of sliced deli ham, down 16 cents to $5.08, and 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts, down 37 cents to $2.54.
Other items that decreased were bagged salad mix, down 23 cents for a 1-pound bag to $2.11; a 10-ounce box of cereal, down 19 cents to $2.66; a gallon of whole milk, down 15 cents to $3.12; a 32-ounce bottle of vegetable oil, down 11 cents to $2.88; and orange juice, down 3 cents for a half gallon to $3.30.
Besides the meats and eggs mentioned earlier, other items that increased were apples, up 32 cents/pound to $1.88; shredded cheddar cheese, up 32 cents to $4.33/pound; 5 pounds of flour, up 13 cents to $2.55; bread, up 12 cents for a 20-ounce loaf to $1.53; and 5 pounds of potatoes, up 11 cents to $2.64.
The year-to-year direction of the market basket survey tracks closely with the federal Consumer Price Index report for food at home.
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 89 shoppers in 27 states participated in the latest AFBF survey, conducted in March.
Indiana grocery items: Spring 2013 Fall 2013 Spring 2014
Apples, 1 lb. $1.56 $1.66 $1.88
Potatoes, 5 lb. $2.53 $3.51 $2.64
Bagged salad mix, 1 lb. $2.34 $1.93 $2.11
Orange juice, 1/2 gal $3.33 $3.43 $3.30
Ground chuck, 1 lb. $3.68 $3.29 $3.70
Sirloin tip roast, 1 lb $4.56 $4.09 $3.86
Bacon, 1lb. $3.85 $4.74 $4.12
Sliced deli ham, 1 lb. $5.24 $4.60 $5.08
Boneless chicken breast, 1 lb. $2.91 $2.96 $2.54
Whole milk, 1 gal. $3.27 $3.24 $3.12
Shredded cheddar cheese,1 lb $4.01 $3.44 $4.33
Grade A large eggs, 1 doz. $1.78 $1.83 $1.92
Flour, 5 lb. $2.42 $2.35 $2.55
Vegetable oil, 32 oz. $2.99 $3.01 $2.88
Cereal, 10-oz. box $2.85 $2.81 $2.66
White bread, 20-oz. loaf $1.41 $1.40 $1.53
TOTAL $48.73 $48.29 $48.22