Texas food prices show modest increase
Consumer demand drives meat prices higher
(WACO, Texas)— Texas shoppers will pay more for meat—especially chicken—according to the latest Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Grocery Price Watch Survey. The total cost of the 16-item grocery bill rose slightly to $45.63, compared to $44.55 last quarter.
“Football season means wings and demand for chicken has exploded, both with consumers and the fast food service industry,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “This was reflected in a hefty increase in chicken prices.”
The survey showed prices for boneless, skinless chicken breasts rising to $3.55 per pound from $3.07 last quarter. Smaller increases were registered for beef sirloin, hamburger and pork. Prices for a pound of sliced turkey fell 10 cents to $4.21 this quarter.
“Due to the drought and other factors, the cattle herd in Texas is now the smallest it has ever been,” said Dierschke. “This has caused the price of beef to rise, and bargain shoppers are looking at cheaper proteins like chicken and pork. This has driven demand up, which has led to corresponding price increases.”
Of the 16 items surveyed, five items decreased in price from last quarter: grapefruit, vanilla cake mix, milk, sliced turkey and vanilla ice cream. The prices of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, white bread, corn flakes, rice, pinto beans, cheddar cheese, lean ground beef, chicken breasts, steak and pork chops increased in price from the last quarterly survey.
The TFB Grocery Price Watch is conducted quarterly by volunteer shoppers at grocery stores across the state of Texas. The current survey data was collected by 38 shoppers from Sept. 1-13, 2013. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.