Arizona, September 26, 2016 – Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket were down in the third quarter of 2016, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $48.72, down 54 cents or about 1 percent less than the second quarter of 2016.

American Farm Bureau’s $49.70 survey this quarter was 98 cents more than Arizona Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket total.

Compared to Arizona’s September 2015 survey total of $54.57, the 2016 third quarter Marketbasket survey shows that Arizona’s food prices have decreased about 10 percent year-to-year …one of the largest spreads in recent years.

“We anticipated another drop in food prices knowing how low agriculture commodity prices are right now,” said Arizona Farm Bureau’s Communication Director, Julie Murphree. “Families should take advantage of meat prices once again as they have mostly decreased in the group of 16 items. We continue to encourage Arizona families to keep hunting for those bargains in our basics like your meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy and eggs to stretch your food dollars. While you and I, as shoppers, can celebrate low food prices, extended low agriculture commodities for farmers means a re-evaluation of their product mix in farming.

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona six decreased, ten increased compared to the 2016 second quarter survey.  

In Arizona, off-the-shelf prices for boneless chicken breast showed the greatest decrease in price down $1.88 cents to $2.48 a pound; ground chuck down $53 cents to $3.24 a pound; vegetable oil down 36 cents to $2.29 a 32- oz bottle; oat cereal down 14 cents to $3.17 for the 8.9 oz box; sirloin roast down 10 cents to $6.88 a pound; and bread down 8 cents to $1.16 a 20-oz loaf;

“Remember Arizona Farm Bureau’s has searchable recipes, many featuring recipes from our generational Arizona farm families,” said Murphree. “And, we’ve updated the website to be mobile friendly.  So, if you’re traveling around the state and want to hunt for a local weekend farmer’s market, go to using your smart-phone or tablet.”

Eggs showed the largest price increase up $51 cents to $2.20 a dozen. The other items that increased in price were shredded cheese up 50 cents to $4.31 a pound; milk up 32 cents to $2.27 a gallon; bacon up 30 cents to $ 4.78 a pound; deli ham up 28 cents to $3.79 a pound; potatoes up 18 cents to $2.99 a 5-pound bag; apples up 16 cents to $1.49 a pound; salad mix up 6 cents to $2.85 a pound bag; flour up 4 cents to $1.90 a 5-pound bag and orange juice up 3 cents to $2.92 a half gallon.

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,” explains 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 $48.72 Marketbasket total would be $7.79.

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.