Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Food prices rise in third quarter

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Shop is a four-letter word for some and a passion for others.

Shopping for groceries can be an adventure as well as a necessity. Shoppers armed with lists can compare prices to determine the best deals and gain insight into the latest food marketing trends.

Missouri volunteer shoppers joined others across the nation to collect prices for 16 food items as a part of the American Farm Bureau’s third-quarter Marketbasket Survey. The 16 predetermined items are representative of agricultural commodities used to prepare a variety of meals.

The total bill for Missouri shoppers rang in at $47.49, compared to the national average of $46.17. Typically, Show-Me shoppers enjoy a lesser price. However, for this quarter, they are paying $1.32 more than the U.S. rate for the same items, and $4.08 more statewide than last quarter.

Compared to second-quarter prices, 11 items increased while five decreased. The largest price jump occurred in sliced deli ham, which rang in at $5.99 (up $1.25). Other items showing significant increases include ground chuck (up 59 cents to $3.58), sirloin tip roast (up $1.12 to $4.84) and bacon (up 22 cents to $3.25). The increases in meat prices reflect some recovery from the historically low prices just a year ago.

Lesser increases were found in items such as eggs (up 9 cents to $1.23) and shredded cheddar cheese (up 2 cents to $3.50). Prices that decreased included potatoes, chicken breasts, milk, flour and toasted oat cereal. Both chicken breasts and milk dropped 21 cents for prices of $3.15 per pound and $3.04 per gallon, respectively.

Shoppers have numerous choices when shopping for groceries. Personal preferences can impact the bottom line. Checking out advertised specials, clipping coupons and comparing brand values can add additional savings. Despite the increase in food prices in Missouri, shoppers spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food due, in part, to the dedicated farmers producing for us.

—Diane Olson, Missouri Farm Bureau
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