PHOENIX — Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket were down in the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $46.06, down $3.10 or about 6 percent less than the first quarter of 2017 ($49.16).
Compared to Arizona’s June 2016 second-quarter survey total of $49.26, the 2017 second-quarter Marketbasket survey shows that Arizona’s food prices have also decreased about 6 percent year-to-year.
“Without being too predictive, I see lower food pricing continuing now that Amazon just announced its intent to acquire Whole Foods,” said Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau communication director. “Arizona families should keep hunting for bargains in our basic food items like your meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy and eggs to stretch your food dollars. So shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. American families are recipients of the most abundant, healthiest and economically priced fresh food.”
Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, 12 decreased and four increased compared to the 2017 first-quarter survey.
In Arizona, off-the-shelf prices for toasted oat cereal showed the greatest decrease in price, down $1.07 cents to $2.50 for the 8.9-ounce box; bacon down 74 cents to $4.74 a pound; vegetable oil down 53 cents to $1.82 a 32-ounce bottle; ground chuck and flour down 48 cents to $2.86 a pound and $1.98 a 5-pound bag, respectively; deli ham down 38 cents to $3.61 a pound; shredded cheese down 30 cents to $4.49 a pound; milk down 27 cents to $1.96 a gallon; potatoes down 21 cents to $2.39 a 5-pound bag; orange juice down 17 cents to $2.62 a half-gallon; eggs down 11 cents to $1.43 a dozen and white bread down 8 cents to $1.31 a 20-ounce loaf.
“Remember, Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fillyourplate.org has searchable recipes, farmers markets and farm products,” Murphree said. “The website is now mobile friendly. So if you’re traveling around the state and want to hunt for a local weekend farmers market, go to fillyourplate.org using your smart phone or tablet.”
Sirloin roast showed the largest price increase, up 90 cents to $6.76 a pound. The other items that increased in price were boneless chicken breast, up 45 cents to $3.21 a pound; and salad mix and apples, up 20 cents to $2.79 a pound bag and $1.59 a pound, respectively.
The year-to-year direction of the quarterly Marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home.
“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. That figure has decreased steadily and is now just 16 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s revised Food Dollar Series Department statistics,” said an American Farm Bureau economist.
Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the Arizona farmer’s share of this quarter’s $46.06 Marketbasket total would be $7.40.
The Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey is unscientific but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state. Arizona’s bargain shoppers statewide should find individual items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages and certainly cheaper with discounts and in-store specials. Arizona Farm Bureau seeks to identify the best in-store price, excluding promotional coupons and special deals.