According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Marketbasket Survey, American consumers paid slightly higher retail prices for food at the supermarket in the first quarter of 2000. The latest informal survey shows a 25-cent increase in the cost of 16 basic grocery items. Shoppers paid $33.73 for those 16 items, the highest price since the survey started in 1989. However, that price is just $2.05 higher than the first quarter report from five years ago.

Of the 16 items in the survey, eight rose in price and eight fell in price. Surveyed items include: a 32-ounce bottle of vegetable oil, one pound of ground chuck, a five-pound bag of all-purpose flour, the price per pound of a sirloin tip roast, a 32-ounce jar of mayonnaise, a 20-ounce loaf of white bread, one gallon of whole milk, the price per pound of center cut pork chops, a 5-lb bag of russet potatoes, one pound of red delicious apples, one pound of bacon, a 10-ounce box of oat cereal, the price per pound of whole fryers and one dozen of eggs. The first eight items all increased in price.

Farm Bureau conducts the survey each quarter to help track retail food prices. According to the USDA, the consumer price index for food is expected to increase 2 percent to 2.5 percent during 2001. That’s compared to a 2.3 percent increase last year.
While retail grocery story prices have increased over time, the share of the average food dollar received by producers has declined. According to the USDA, of each dollar spent on food in the U.S., producers receive about 20 cents. In 1950, producers’ share was 41 cents. Today, the largest component of the food dollar is off-farm labor at 39 cents.

American Farm Bureau Federation