Friday, June 10, 2011

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Energy Cost Drives Up Retail Food Prices in Second Quarter

Washington--Retail food prices at the supermarket increased during the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $51.17, up $2.10 or about 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items surveyed, 14 increased and two decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter.

The recent rise in retail food prices is largely attributed to the continued rise in raw energy cost.

“The effects of continued raw energy cost increases are reverberating throughout the food industry and consumers are bearing the brunt of it,” said John Anderson, an AFBF economist. “After food leaves the farm, costs for transportation, marketing, processing and storage come into play. As energy prices continue to run up, shoppers are feeling the pinch at the supermarket.”

AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, has been conducting the informal quarterly Marketbasket Survey of retail food price trends since 1989. 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.

AFBF news release

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