Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket are up in the third quarter of 2015, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $54.57, up $3.69 or about 6.5 percent more than the second quarter of 2015.
While American Farm Bureau’s survey this quarter showed a slight decrease ($54.14) compared to Arizona’s, American’s is only 43 cents less than Arizona’s marketbasket.
“Meat protein is the area where prices are up the most here in Arizona,” says Julie Murphree, Communications Director for the Arizona Farm Bureau. “When our meat prices are up it impacts the entire survey because they are the bulk of the survey total. But remember during the holidays grocery stores will offer discounted meats anywhere from five to seven days prior to the big event, especially turkey and ham. In our beef offerings, there are 29 lean cuts and several of those beef cuts are well priced for Arizona families and the holidays.”
Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, seven decreased, eight increased and one remained the same compared to the 2015 second quarter survey.
In Arizona, off-the-shelf prices for milk showed the greatest decrease in price down 55 cents to $2.42 a gallon; eggs were down 55 cents to $2.42 a dozen; white bread down 9 cents to $1.11 a 20-oz loaf; toasted oat cereal down 8 cents to $ 3.13 a 8-9-.9 oz box; ground chuck down 6 cents to 4.09 a pound; bacon down 4 cents to $4.44 a pound; and potatoes down 1 cent to $2.67 a 5-pound bag.
“As we prepare for the holiday season, remember Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fillyouplate.org has searchable recipes, many featuring holiday recipes from our generational Arizona farm families,” said Murphree. “Eating at home as a family can help you manage your food budget better. We’ve also made our Farmers’ Market listing on fillyourplate.org searchable. Fill Your Plate features a new Friday’s Food Fact section that can help families know more about their food and Arizona agriculture.”
Sirloin roast showed the largest price increase up $1.67 cents to $7.65 a pound. The other items that increased in price were deli ham up 85 cents to $4.77 a pound; salad mix up 58 cents to $2.98 a pound bag; flour up 47 cents to $2.48 a 5-pound bag; apples up 44cents to $ 1.69 a pound; orange juice up 36 cents to $3.38 a half gallon; shredded cheese up 20 cents to $5.34 a pound; and boneless chicken breast up 12 cents to $3.24 a pound.
Vegetable oil remained the same in the third quarater at $ 2.12 for the 32 oz bottle.
The year-to-year direction of the Marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home.
“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. That figure has decreased steadily and is now just 16 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s revised Food Dollar Series Department statistics,” explains John Anderson, American Farm Bureau Economist. The USDA’s new Food Dollar Series may be found online at http://www.ers.usda.gov/FoodDollar/app/
Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the Arizona farmer’s share of this quarter’s $54.57 Marketbasket total would be $8.73.
The Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey is unscientific, but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state. Arizona’s bargain shoppers statewide should find individual items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages and certainly cheaper with discounts and in-store specials. Arizona Farm Bureau seeks to identify the best in-store price, excluding promotional coupons and special deals.