Arizona Food Prices are Down 4% in the Second Quarter of 2016

Arizona Food Prices are Down 4% in the Second Quarter of 2016

Arizona, June 28, 2016 - Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket were down in the first 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 $49.26, down $1.94 or about 4 percent less than the first quarter of 2016.

Compared to Arizona's June 2015 survey total of $50.88, the 2016 second quarter Marketbasket survey shows that Arizona's food prices have decreased about 3 percent year-to-year.

Instead of surveying the 16 basic grocery items, American Farm Bureau tracked 14 Fourth of July favorites in the second quarter of 2016, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk. Their informal survey revealed the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $56.06, or $5.61 per person. Comparatively, Arizona's informal survey of the same summer cookout items is $53.17 or $5.31 per person.

"The overall decrease in Arizona food prices is consistent with overall lower agriculture commodity prices," said Arizona Farm Bureau's Communication Director, Julie Murphree. "Families should take advantage of cheese and egg prices right now as they have the largest price decreases 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."

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, eight decreased, eight increased compared to the 2016 first quarter survey.

In Arizona, off-the-shelf prices for shredded cheese showed the greatest decrease in price down $1.47 cents to $3.81 a pound; eggs down $1.26 cents to $1.69 a dozen; sirloin down 66 cents to $6.98 a pound; deli ham down 48 cents to $3.51 a pound; apples down 52 cents to $1.33 a pound; milk down 30 cents to $1.95 a gallon;

Bacon down 18 cents to $4.49 a pound and flour down 10 cents to $1.86 a 5-pound bag.

"Remember Arizona Farm Bureau's Fillyouplate.org 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 fillyourplate.org using your smartphone or tablet."

Boneless chicken breast showed the largest price increase up $1.17 cents to $4.36 a pound. The other items that increased in price were ground chuck up 65 cents to $3.77 a pound; toasted oat cereal up 52 cents to $3.13 a for the 8.9 oz box; vegetable oil up 38 cents to $ 2.65 a 32-oz bottle; potatoes up 16 cents to $2.81 a 5-pound bag; salad mix up 10 cents to $2.79 a pound bag; orange juice up 3 cents to $2.89 a half-gallon and white bread up 2 cents to $1.24 a 20-oz loaf.

"We did track American Farm Bureau's Summer Marketbasket and a comparison chart is available upon request," said Murphree. "But we stick to the quarterly Marketbasket as we believe it has more value to our Arizona families."

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 John Anderson, 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 $49.26 Marketbasket total would be $7.88.

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.