The American Farm Bureau Federation's Marketbasket Survey indicates that retail food prices at the supermarket increased during the first quarter of 2011. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $49.07, up $2.10 or about 4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. The total average price for the 16 items was up $3.53, or about 8%, compared to one year ago.
AFBF economist John Anderson says that as anticipated, the increased consumer demand for meats and dairy products that began in 2009 and continued through 2010 remains evident as move forward to the middle of 2011. The economist expects retail price increases for some foods will likely continue throughout the year, as it takes time for farmers to increase the size of their herds to accommodate increased demand.
Using the "food at home and away from home" percentage across-the-board, the farmer's share of this quarter's $49.07 marketbasket would be $7.85. According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10% of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world.