“Further retail price increases are likely to be the new normal as we move through 2011, especially for meats. It takes time for farmers to increase the size of their herds to in order to meet higher demand,” Anderson explained.
The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (www.bls.gov/cpi) report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually 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. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said. USDA’s new Food Dollar Series may be found online at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FoodDollar/app/.
Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this quarter’s $51.17 marketbasket would be $8.19.
AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, has been conducting the informal quarterly marketbasket survey of retail food price trends since 1989. The mix of foods in the marketbasket was updated during the first quarter of 2008.
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 72 shoppers in 30 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in May.
Tracking Milk and Egg Trends
For the second quarter of 2011, shoppers reported the average price for a half-gallon of regular whole milk was $2.31, up 6 cents from the prior quarter. The average price for one gallon of regular whole milk was $3.62, up 16 cents. Comparing per-quart prices, the retail price for whole milk sold in gallon containers was about 25 percent lower compared to half-gallon containers, a typical volume discount long employed by retailers.
The average price for a half-gallon of rBST-free milk was $3.18, down 5 cents from the last quarter, about 40 percent higher than the reported retail price for a half-gallon of regular milk ($2.31).
The average price for a half-gallon of organic milk was $3.77, up 7cents compared to the prior quarter—about 60 percent higher than the reported retail price for a half-gallon of regular milk ($2.31).
Compared to a year ago (second quarter of 2010), the retail price for regular milk in gallon containers was up about 18 percent while regular milk in half-gallon containers rose 12 percent. The average retail price for rBST-free milk increased 6 percent compared to the prior year while organic milk was up about 3 percent.
For the second quarter of 2011, the average price for one dozen regular eggs was $1.65. The average price for a dozen “cage-free” eggs was $3.20, nearly double the price of regular eggs. Compared to a year ago (second quarter of 2010), regular eggs decreased 7 percent while “cage-free” eggs increased 10 percent.