The Missouri Farm Bureau's Market Basket Survey for the first quarter of 2011 shows prices were higher for most of the 16 food items included in the informal study.
While economists were predicting higher food prices for 2011, Diane Olson, director of promotion and education for the Missouri Farm Bureau, reports that Missouri prices were considerably less than the national average for the first quarter. "It probably did not hit us as hard as we thought it might," Olson says. "The 16 food items included in the statewide survey had a total average cost of $44.62, while the same 16 food items one year ago rang in at $42.78. When we compare Missouri's results with the national results compiled in American Farm Bureau's survey, we see Missouri shoppers spent $4.45 less for the same 16 food items than the national average of $49.07."
Economists anticipated meat prices would go up, and Olson notes Missouri prices reflect that. "When comparing this quarter's price to the same quarter a year ago, the only exception to higher meat prices was sliced deli ham at $4.80 a pound, down 19 cents," she says. Ground chuck was 41 cents higher at $3.05 a pound, sirloin tip roast was 39 cents higher at $3.93 a pound, chicken breasts were 13 cents higher at $2.68 a pound, and bacon increased 29 cents at $3.80 a pound.
Other food items to increase in price from one year ago were a gallon of whole milk up 12 cents at $3.57, a pound of shredded cheddar cheese up a dime at $3.17, five pounds of Russet potatoes up 29 cents at $2.70, an 8.9 ounce box of toasted oat cereal up 16 cents at $3.30, and 32 ounces of vegetable oil up 27 cents at $2.69.
"We did notice Grade A eggs dropped in price this quarter by 29 cents at $1.44 a dozen, and flour also dropped in price," Olson says. "Five pounds of flour in 2010 cost $2.04 during the first quarter of the year, while here in the first quarter of 2011 the statewide average was only $1.80, down 24 cents, and yet bread prices were higher this quarter with a 20-ounce loaf of white bread up 18 cents at a statewide average of $1.65 a loaf."
Other items in the survey included red delicious apples up two cents at $1.51 a pound, orange juice down 22 cents at $2.55 a half gallon, and American salad mix down 11 cents at $1.98 a pound.
Source: Missouri Farm Bureau