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Indiana Farm Bureau 





June 30, 2011 


For more information: Isabella Chism, 317-692-7803 

Kathleen Dutro, 317-692-7824, kdutro@infarmbureau.org 


Note to editors/news directors: Accompanying this release on Indiana Farm Bureau’s regular market basket survey is a separate release on our annual survey of foods favored at summer picnics and cookouts. 


Market basket PDF chart - color 

Market basket PDF chart - black



Grocery prices increase, Farm Bureau survey shows  


Food prices at the supermarket increased during the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest survey of grocery store prices from Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.  

The informal “market basket” survey shows the total cost of 16 food items was $48.94, up $1.74 or about 3.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items included in the survey, 12 increased and four decreased in average price compared to the prior year. 

“The effects of continued raw energy cost increases are reverberating throughout the food industry, and consumers are bearing the brunt of it,” said AFBF economist John Anderson. “After food leaves the farm, costs for transportation, marketing, processing and storage come into play. As energy prices continue to run up, shoppers are feeling the pinch at the supermarket.” 

“Farmers are also suffering from high fuel costs,” noted Isabella Chism, IFB second vice president. “Every step in food production – from planting to fertilizing to harvesting and beyond – requires fuel, and that cost comes directly out of farmers’ pockets.” 

The Indiana survey is part of a nationwide survey compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation from data supplied by state Farm Bureaus. The national survey reported similar results, showing a total of $51.17, up $2.10 or about 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. 

Seventy-two Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers in 30 states participate in the national survey, and 22 volunteers participated in the Indiana survey. Both were conducted in May. 

                Bacon, whole milk, bagged salad mix, and potatoes increased the most in dollar value compared to the first quarter and accounted for most of the quarter-to-quarter increase: bacon, up 56 cents per pound to $4.16; whole milk, up 42 cents/gallon to $3.27; bagged salad, up 38 cents to $2.29; and potatoes, up 33 cents to $3.14 for a 5-pound bag. 

                “Strong consumer demand for meats and dairy products continues to influence retail prices,” said Anderson. “Consumer demand for meats and dairy products began to recover in 2009, continued through 2010 and is still a factor as we move into the middle of 2011.” 

                The other items that increased in price compared to the first quarter showed much smaller increases. They are: a 10-ounce box of cereal, up 15 cents to $3.14; sirloin tip roast, up 11 cents to $3.92/pound; boneless chicken breasts, up 9 cents to $3.36/pound; vegetable oil, up 8 cents to $2.98 for a 32-ounce bottle; apples, up 6 cents to $1.58/pound; a 20-ounce loaf of bread, up 6 cents to $1.61; a dozen large eggs, up 4 cents to $1.61; and shredded cheddar cheese, up 2 cents to $4.04/pound. 

                The items that decreased in average retail price from last quarter are sliced deli ham, which dropped by 29 cents to $5.23/pound; a 5-pound bag of flour, which dropped by 12 cents to $2.41; a half-gallon of orange juice, which dropped by 11 cents to $3.15; and ground chuck, which dropped by 5 cents/pound to $3.05. 

“Further retail price increases are likely to be the new normal as we move through 2011, especially for meats. It takes time for farmers to increase the size of their herds to in order to meet higher demand,” Anderson explained. 

The year-to-year direction of the market-basket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (www.bls.gov/cpi) 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. 

                “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 about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said. USDA’s new “Food Dollar” series may be found online at www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FoodDollar/app/. 

AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, has been conducting the informal quarterly market-basket survey of retail food price trends since 1989. The mix of foods in the market-basket was updated during the first quarter of 2008. 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.