Kentucky's food prices drop in second quarter of 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in June 2012, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across the state have declined during the second quarter of the year. According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $113.03. This reflects a decrease of $2.68, or 2.3 percent, from the same list of items reported in the previous quarter.
For the fourth consecutive quarter, the Marketbasket Survey showed decreases in the average total price of retail food in Kentucky. The newest figure is $4.41, or 3.9 percent, lower than the same reporting period in 2011 (the highest quarterly total recorded in this survey’s history), but it still remains $4.55, or 4.2 percent, higher than the second quarter of 2010.
Of the six food groups recorded in the most recent survey – beef, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, pork, and poultry – the beef category showed the greatest total decrease with an average price drop of 4.8 percent (-$1.37). The pork category made the largest (and only) average increase in price at 0.7 percent ($0.13). T-bone steak had the greatest single-item decrease with an average price drop of $0.88 per pound, while the highest single-item increase was cut-up chicken fryers, climbing an average of $0.39 per pound. Overall, 22 of the 40 items in this survey experienced decreases in average price, 17 increased, and one went unchanged (chuck roast).
The Marketbasket survey’s top five average price decreases reported for items in the second quarter of 2012 were:
Americans continue to enjoy some of the lowest food prices in the world, spending only about 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year. Food costs remain far lower in the U.S. than in any other country thanks in large part to the agricultural efficiencies utilized in America. Putting those efficiencies to use currently allows the average U.S. farmer to produce enough food and fiber to provide for about 154 people. In 1980 each farmer only produced enough food and fiber for 115 people. That output drops to just 19 people when looking back to 1940. Yet while more food is now being produced on less land, the farmer’s share of the retail food dollar in America is down. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Food Dollar Series, a farmer earns less than 16 cents per dollar spent on food, down significantly from the 31 cents earned as recently as 1980.
Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation has conducted its regional Marketbasket survey over the past four decades as a tool to reflect local retail food pricing trends and their relationship to what farmers receive for their raw commodities. Cities reporting on the Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey for the second quarter of 2012 include: Ashland, Augusta, Bardstown, Bowling Green, Brandenburg, Danville, Glasgow, Grayson, Harrodsburg, Hopkinsville, Jackson, Lexington, Louisville, Madisonville, Manchester, Mayfield, Maysville, Munfordville, Murray, Nancy, Owensboro, Owingsville, Powderly, Richmond, Russellville and Shelbyville.