Texas food prices drop slightly
Quarterly food basket prices decrease, according to TFB’s Grocery Price Watch survey
(WACO, Texas)—Retail food prices decreased slightly during the first quarter of 2015, with a basket of 16 staple items at the grocery store totaling $49.04, according to the latest Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Grocery Price Watch survey.
“Down nearly three percent from last quarter at $50.48, lower food prices are good news for Texas families, taking a little bit of pressure off tight budgets,” TFB President Russell Boening said.
Although prices for most food items fell, beef prices remain on the rise. Top sirloin steak increased to $7.08 per pound, up by 3.51 percent from the last quarter. Lean ground beef rose 1.34 percent to $4.54 per pound.
“Ranchers are still feeling the effects of a multi-year drought,” Boening said. “The U.S. and Texas cow herds fell to their lowest numbers during those extremely dry years. It takes time to rebuild.”
While beef prices are expected to remain high through 2015, shoppers are finding lower prices for other meats, including pork, chicken and turkey.
Increased pork supplies and lower grain prices have pushed pork chop prices down to $4.50 per pound, a 5.86 percent decrease from last year. Prices for boneless chicken breasts dropped to $3.31 per pound, a 1.49 percent decrease, while sliced turkey prices fell to $4.79, a 4.58 percent decrease.
“Texas shoppers are noticing lower pork prices due to a growing hog herd and cheaper feed prices,” Boening said. “Those lower grain prices, combined with decreased demand in foreign markets, also have turkey and chicken prices down during the first quarter.”
Milk and milk products—like cheese and ice cream—are also down.
Supply and demand comes into play for grapefruit and lettuce, which fell nearly 12.64 percent and 10.96 percent, respectively. As the spring and summer months continue with an increased supply, shoppers can expect the lower prices.
Of the 16 items surveyed, white bread, corn flakes, rice, dried pinto beans and vanilla cake mix also saw a decrease in price.
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 12-19, 2015. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.