The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $47.20, up $1.66 or 4% compared to the first quarter of 2010. The total average price for the 16 items increased about 2% compared to one year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, nine increased and seven decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter.
“The economic recovery continues to be very slow,” Anderson said. “Where retail food prices will head in the next quarter or two is uncertain and depends to some degree on whether or not consumer confidence remains soft or begins a strong rebound.”
The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home. 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.
“Beginning in 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 and is now just 19 percent, according to Agriculture Department statistics,” Anderson said.
Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this quarter’s $47.20 marketbasket would be $8.97.
AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, has been conducting the informal quarterly marketbasket survey of retail food price trends since 1989. The mix of foods in the marketbasket was updated during the first quarter of 2008.
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10% of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 85 shoppers in 32 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in May.
Source: American Farm Bureau
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