Texans pay less for groceries in first quarter
Quarterly food basket prices drop to $46.43, according to TFB’s Grocery Price Watch survey
(WACO, Texas)—The consumer dollar bought a bigger basket in the first quarter of 2016 as retail food prices continued to drop, according to the latest Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Grocery Price Watch survey.
The first quarter survey results recorded a total balance of $46.43 for a 16-staple item basket including produce, meat, grain and dairy products. It’s a decrease of more than 2 percent over last quarter and 5.32 percent compared to this time last year.
“Grocery prices affect all Texans, including farmers and ranchers,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Our survey shows a trip to the grocery store is costing consumers less than a short time ago.”
Leading the decrease at the meat counter is sirloin steak, which fell to $6.29 per pound. That’s down 13.95 percent from $7.31 last quarter. Lean ground beef dropped 5.12 percent, or 21 cents, to $3.89 per pound.
“A growing cow herd and less expensive input costs—like feed and fuel—have protein prices, especially beef, falling,” Boening said.
Prices for pork chops saw a decrease of 6.19 percent to $3.94 per pound, compared to $4.20 last quarter.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were the only protein to see a price increase in the first quarter. The slight increase was less than 1 percent, for a total of $3.36 per pound.
Shoppers looking for fresh produce paid less for lettuce, grapefruit and fresh tomatoes.
“Texas-grown grapefruit and citrus are harvested during the first few months of the year, making them an affordable and nutritious option,” Boening said.
Of the 16 food staples surveyed, four other items decreased in price or stayed the same, while three increased in price from last quarter.
The TFB Grocery Price Watch is conducted quarterly by shoppers strategically located across the state of Texas. The current survey data was collected by 42 shoppers from March 3-10, 2016. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.