TEXAS FOOD PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE
Drought continues to drive food prices higher
Texas shoppers will dig a little deeper in their pockets during their next trip to the grocery store, according to the latest Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Grocery Price Watch survey. The total cost of the 16-item grocery bill rose to $49.88, compared to $47.57 last quarter.
Prices rose across many categories, led by increases in beef, pork, turkey and chicken.
“Despite recent rains, drought conditions continue to persist in the Lone Star State,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “This is the smallest cow herd in the nation in more than 60 years and soaring meat prices are hitting ranchers, suppliers and consumers across the country.”
The survey showed ground beef prices rising to $4.48 per pound from $4.09 last quarter and beef sirloin rising to $6.32 per pound from $5.96 last quarter. Sliced turkey increased to $4.98 per pound this quarter, as compared to $4.68 in the second quarter of 2014. Prices for pork chops also increased, rising to $4.96 per pound from $4.54 last quarter. Smaller increases were registered for skinless chicken breasts, which rang in at $3.37 per pound compared to $3.22 last quarter.
“It will take a while for beef prices to start falling as ranchers start the process of restocking their herds,” Dierschke said. “Once you see lower beef prices, I think you will see prices for other meats fall, as well.”
Of the 16 items surveyed, fresh tomatoes decreased in price and milk prices remained the same. The prices of lettuce, grapefruit, corn flakes, rice, pinto beans, vanilla cake mix and cheddar cheese increased in price from the last quarterly survey.
Vanilla ice cream also increased, rising to $6.20 per carton from $5.75 last quarter in 2014. The 45-cent increase over last quarter is due in large part to consumer demand during the hot, summer months.
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 42 shoppers from Sept. 4-11, 2014. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.