Texas food prices remain steady
Quarterly food basket increases to $46.66, according to TFB’s Grocery Price Watch survey
(WACO, Texas)—First quarter food prices in Texas remain fairly steady for a basket of 16 staple grocery items totaling $46.66, up less than 2 percent from last quarter at $45.85 and up about one-half of 1 percent from $46.40 last year, according to Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) Grocery Price Watch.
“Prices for consumers’ grocery baskets have stayed consistent through the first quarter of this year,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “This is good news for Texas families as they closely monitor their budgets throughout the year.”
Although the overall cost remained steady, the meat aisle lacked consistency as red meat prices rose and poultry prices declined. Top sirloin steak and ground beef increased more than 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from the last quarter. The price of pork chops rose to $4.25 per pound, a 7.32 percent increase. Chicken breasts decreased by nearly 3 percent from the last quarter and remained steady with prices of a year earlier.
“Beef and pork prices have gone up due in large part to decreased production. Due to the drought, the U.S. cow herd is at its lowest numbers since the 1950s, and hog farmers are dealing with a virus that has reduced total pig numbers,” Dierschke said. “Low grain prices and increased hatches have poultry farmers ramping up production, which eases the price burden for chicken at the grocery store.”
Of the 16 items surveyed, eight increased in price from the last quarter: fresh tomatoes, white bread, corn flakes, vanilla cake mix, ice cream, ground beef, sirloin steak and pork chops. Seven items—lettuce, grapefruit, rice, milk, sliced turkey, cheddar cheese and chicken breasts—decreased in price from the last quarterly survey.
The TFB Grocery Price Watch is conducted quarterly by shoppers strategically located across the state of Texas. The current survey data was collected by 43 shoppers from March 6-13, 2014. TFB has monitored Texas food prices through its Grocery Price Watch survey since March 2009.