Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation’s Fall Harvest marketbasket survey found the total cost of 16 foods that can be used to prepare several meals was $51.13. The cost is up $1.43, or about three percent, from the survey results a year ago. AFBF Director of Market Intelligence John Newton says higher retail prices for several foods, including bacon, chicken breast and orange juice, were behind the increase.
Newton: Bacon prices increased significantly, and we also saw orange juice prices up quite a bit from where they were last year. We did see some prices come down from where they were last year, most notably, salad mix. The drought last year in California really pushed salad and lettuce prices up and we’ve seen some relief in those prices this year.
Clements: He says the prices included in the survey reflect consumer demand. For example, consumers are purchasing more bacon, driving supplies down and prices up.
Newton: If you think about what’s happening in the food service sector, consumers are enjoying more fatty foods, and bacon is the sexy food item at the restaurant and at the retail space. Bacon inventories t his year are down quite a bit from where they were in prior year levels, and as a result, we saw pork belly prices rise to highs we haven’t seen in recent years, and that’s reflected in those retail bacon prices.
Clements: The Fall Harvest marketbasket survey is part of four food price trend surveys conducted by AFBF during the year. Compared to six months ago, when the cost of a summer cookout came in at $50.03, the overall cost of the marketbasket items increased by about two percent. The next survey will be the Thanksgiving survey.
Newton: Looking at the overall food price trends that we’ve seen over the year, food prices have remained relatively flat. So, I would expect consumers will see a reasonably prices Thanksgiving dinner for 2017.
Clements: The full results of the Fall Harvest survey are online at www.fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.