Texas food prices see another decrease
Quarterly food basket drops to $45.78, according to TFB’s Grocery Price Watch survey
Retail food prices showed slight decreases during the third quarter, with a basket of 16 staple items at the grocery store totaling $45.78, according to the latest Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Grocery Price Watch survey.
Third quarter prices rang in at 16 cents less than last quarter and $1.71 compared to this time last year.
Texas food prices, according to TFB’s survey, have been on the decline for a year.
“We have a large supply of several food items, which leads to the decreases we’re seeing at the grocery store,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Many of the items in the basket fall into a supply and demand scenario.”
Improved weather conditions have led to better yields compared to previous years. And a stronger U.S. dollar makes American goods more expensive for foreign countries, ultimately leading to lower prices for U.S. consumers.
Sliced turkey saw a decrease of 48 cents, or 9.7 percent, to $4.47 per pound.
“Those prices reflect increased turkey production for this summer, when farmers raised a record number of turkeys,” Boening said. “That production will likely remain high as farmers prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Lean ground beef also saw a decrease of 20 cents, or 5 percent, to $3.73 per pound.
Other products at the meat counter, however, saw a slight increase.
Sirloin steak rose to $6.25 per pound, up from $6.04 last quarter. Pork chops increased to $3.98 per pound, up 14 cents from last quarter. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts also saw a slight increase to $3.15 per pound, up one cent from last quarter.
Fresh produce was a mixed bag in the third quarter. Lettuce dropped 3.36 percent, or 4 cents, to $1.15 per head, while fresh tomatoes increased 1.72 percent, or 2 cents, per pound to $1.18. Grapefruit saw a significant jump of 38.46 percent, or 35 cents, to $1.26 per pound.
The increased cost for grapefruit, Boening noted, is due in large part to the end of the production season.
Other items that fell in price included dried pinto beans, vanilla cake mix, 2% milk, cheese and ice cream.
The price of white bread remained the same at $1.46 per loaf.
Among the items that increased were corn flakes and long grain rice.
“Food prices are a balance,” Boening said. “We want healthy, nutritious food at an affordable price. But behind each grocery store aisle are the farm and ranch families who grow those products, and they only see a fraction of the prices consumers pay.”
The TFB Grocery Price Watch is conducted quarterly by shoppers located across the state of Texas. The current survey data was collected by 37 shoppers from Sept. 1-8, 2016. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.