A recent Marketbasket Survey conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Federation in September, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across Kentucky made dramatic increases during the third quarter of the year.
According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $119.15. These results – $6.45, or 5.7 percent, higher than the same list of items reported in the previous quarter – are the highest total price recorded in the survey's four-decade history.
The survey total not only reflects a 2.8 percent increase over the average price reported in the third quarter of 2012, but it may also imply that Kentucky is finally catching up to national retail food price trends. In four of the last six Marketbasket Surveys, overall decreases in retail food prices were reported across the Commonwealth while national food prices moved slowly but steadily upward.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) data revealed that food-at-home prices increased nationally by 0.1 percent in the last reported month (August). Overall, the CPI data shows that the national average price for food at home has increased in four of the last five months and grown by an overall total of 1.0 percent over the past 12 months.
Just three months after Kentucky Farm Bureau's last Marketbasket Survey reported falling prices in every major food category – beef, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, pork, and poultry – the third quarter brought completely opposite results.
For the first time in more than five years, all six categories in the survey simultaneously experienced an increase in average price. The fruits and vegetables category showed the greatest total gain with an overall average price jump of 10.7 percent ($2.05). Idaho potatoes had the greatest single-item growth with an average price increase of $1.77 per 10-lb. bag.
Overall, 28 of the 40 items in the Marketbasket Survey experienced increases in average price, 11 decreased and one item (2% milk) was unchanged.
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