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Arizona Food Prices Inch Up, but Groceries Still a Bargain

July 13, 2010

For the second time this year, Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket increased in the second quarter of 2010

For the second time this year, Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket increased in the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Market Basket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $48.84, up $2.88 or 6% higher than the first quarter of 2010. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey was $47.20, up $1.66 or 4% higher compared to the first quarter of 2010.

Even with this increase the second quarter Market Basket is $2.05 lower than one year ago at this time.

“Everyone is looking to save money.  As the mother of four growing children, cooking at home is one way we save money and serve up good healthy food at the same time,” said Sharla Mortimer, Arizona Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chair and rancher in Yavapai County. “Additionally, I buy seasonal fruits and vegetables to stretch our food budget.”

To access an entire menu focused on those food items down in price in the first quarter and designed around stretching your food dollar, go to www.fillyourplate.org. Look for the latest “Stretch Your Food Dollar” menu and the additional food savings tips.

“Energy costs moved higher during the first quarter of the year and hit an 18 month high at the end of March,” said Arizona Farm Bureau Public Relations Director Julie Murphree. “Since that time, energy prices have declined as the economic recovery appears to have slowed.  Moving forward, energy prices ─ a key component of food prices, particularly for highly processed foods ─ will continue to be largely determined by conditions in the general economy.”

“Because of the overall increase in meat products, in the Stretch your Dollar Menu we made a point to figure meat recipes that can be stretched,” Murphree added. “Consumers who shop for the special priced items and meats on sale will save at the grocery store.”

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, four decreased and twelve increased, compared to the 2010 first-quarter survey. The national survey shows seven decreased and nine increased.

Shredded cheddar cheese showed the greatest decrease in price down 62 cents to $3.64 a pound

In Arizona, Shredded cheddar cheese showed the greatest decrease in price down 62 cents to $3.64 a pound;  Eggs were down 49 cents to $1.32 a dozen; orange juice down 24 cents to $3.09 a half gallon; and a 20-oz loaf of white bread down 3 cents to $1.55.

Boneless chicken breast showed the largest price increase up 73 cents to $4.57 a pound.  The other items that increased in price were milk up 53 cents to $2.72 a gallon; bacon up 51 cents to $3.53 a pound; classic salad mix up 42 cents to $2.72 for the pound bag; sirloin tip roast up 38 cents to $4.77 a pound; a 5-pound bag of flour up 30cents to $ 2.57; deli ham up 29 cents to $4.99 a pound; russet potatoes up 27 cents to $1.98 for the 5-pound bag; ground beef up 26 cents to $3.62 a pound; red delicious apples up 23 cents to $1.45 a-pound; toasted oat cereal up 23 cents to $2.99 for the 8.9 oz box and vegetable oil up 11 cents to $3.33 for the 32 oz bottle.

As retail grocery prices have gradually increased 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.  That figure has decreased steadily over time and is now just 19 percent, according to Agriculture Department statistics,” explains John Anderson, American Farm Bureau Economist.

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the Arizona farmer’s share of this quarter’s $48.84 Market Basket total would be $9.28.

The Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey is unscientific, but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state. Bargain shoppers statewide should find

Eggs were down 49 cents to $1.32 a dozen.

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.

About the Arizona Farm Bureau:

Arizona Farm Bureau began a quarterly Market Basket starting the fourth quarter of 2006. The Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services. Go to www.azfb.org to learn more. To obtain “Stretch Your Food Dollar” menu and nutrition information go to www.fillyourplate.org.

As a member services organization, individuals can become a member by contacting the Farm Bureau. For information on member benefits call 480.635.3609.

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