Retail Food Prices Down Slightly in Second Quarter

There was a slight decline in retail food prices at the supermarket during the second quarter of 2012 according to the American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. This informal survey shows a drop of about three-percent for the total cost of the 16 food items surveyed compared to the first quarter of 2012. The cost for the overall basket of goods – at $50.91 – is down about one-half of one-percent compared to a year ago.

Most of the decrease was due to lower retail prices for sliced meats and dairy products. Farm Bureau Senior Economist John Anderson says the decline in retail meat prices is not unexpected. He says wholesale meat prices trended lower at the end of the first quarter of the year and consumers are now benefitting as retail prices have followed suit.

Prices for shredded cheddar, sliced deli ham, orange juice, bacon, large eggs, toasted oat cereal, bagged salad, apples, sirloin tip roast and flour all decreased in the second quarter – reversing increases of the prior quarter. Whole milk and boneless chicken breasts also decreased in price – continuing the trend from the first quarter. Farm Bureau’s survey showed modest retail price increases for ground chuck, Russet potatoes, white bread and vegetable oil.

Seventy-four shoppers in 28 states participated in Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket Survey for the second quarter. It was conducted in May. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.