Scrambled, sunny-side-up or hard-boiled, however you cook them, eggs are costing more.
Eggs saw the biggest price jump in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket semi-annual survey of the cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals.
The survey’s average was $53.37, up $1.41 or 2.7 percent compared with one year ago. The $1.23 increase for a dozen large, Grade A eggs made up the majority of the overall survey’s increase.
Eggs increased nearly 72 percent, from $1.71 to 2.94 over the last year, an expected result from the Avian Influenza outbreak in Midwestern poultry flocks last spring. The average price for eggs was up more than 45 percent (from $2.02) in March.
“With less egg production and tight supplies as a result of the Avian Influenza outbreak, we expected to see the marketplace respond with higher prices” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesman. “Egg prices are should stabilize and retreat once our nation’s flock is rebuilt.”
Of the 16 items surveyed, half increased in price while seven decreased in price compared with Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 2015 spring survey. One item, 5 pounds of Russet potatoes saw no change in price.
Prices for bacon and ham rose along with boneless chicken breast.
“The survey’s meat items are the heaviest price pullers. As high-value items they influence our survey’s overall price even if they only change slightly,” Langan said. “Despite some increases, overall food prices have been stable in 2015. Spikes in production have lowered the prices for other items, such as dairy products.”
WISCONSIN SURVEY PRICE IS LESS THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE
Wisconsin’s $53.37 Marketbasket price is 77 cents less than the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey of the same 16 food items. AFBF’s survey rang in at $54.14 (a 1.4 percent difference).
“Energy prices, which affect everything in the survey, have been quite a bit lower compared to a year ago. Processing, packaging, transportation and retail operations are all fairly energy-intensive,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist.
FARMER’S SHARE IS JUST $8.54
During the last three decades retail grocery prices have gradually increased while the share of the average dollar spent on food that farm families receive has dropped. In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures in grocery stores and restaurants. Since then that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using that percentage across the board, the farmer’s share of this quarter’s $53.37 grocery bill would be $8.54.
Despite higher prices, the USDA says Americans will still spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average in the world.
The Marketbasket survey is a quarterly look at the trends in food pricing in Wisconsin in relation to changing farm prices, weather and wholesale and retail food marketing. Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected price samples of 16 basic food items in communities across Wisconsin in September.
Survey averages for Wisconsin’s 2015 fall survey are shown below, including the percentage increase/decrease compared to a year ago:
- Apples, no change, $1.45 per pound
- Russet potatoes, up 0.5 percent to $2.02 per 5 pound bag
- Bagged salad, up 0.8 percent to $2.46 per pound
- Orange juice, up 5.9 percent to $3.59 per half gallon
- Whole milk, down 13 percent to $3.47 per gallon
- Shredded mild cheddar cheese down 11.3 percent to $4.30 per pound
- Eggs up 71.9 percent to $2.94 per dozen
- Cheerios (toasted oats) down 6.3 percent to 2.68 per 8.9 to 14-ounce box
- White bread up 24.5 percent to $1.78 per 20-ounce loaf
- Ground chuck up 14.2 percent to $4.74 per pound
- Sirloin tip roast down 1.7 percent to $5.30 per pound
- Bacon down 4.4 percent to $4.51 per pound
- Sliced deli ham up 10.7 percent to $5.36 per pound
- Boneless chicken breast up 5 percent to $3.76 per pound
- Flour up 2.6 percent to $2.36 per 5-pound bag
- Vegetable oil down 7.3 percent to $2.65 per 32 ounce bottle
The Marketbasket Survey is an informal measure of prices at grocery stores in Wisconsin. The prices reported reflect variations in communities and retailers. The prices reported are not validated by any outside source. Prices were collected for this survey in the communities of Appleton, Ashland, Belleville, Beloit, Chilton, De Pere, Edgerton, Ellsworth, Elroy, Hartland, Kewaunee, Lodi, Manawa, Medford, Montello, Paddock Lake, Plover, Saukville, Shawano, Sparta, Stanley, Two Rivers, Union Grove, Waterford, Watertown and West Bend.