The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey revealed that U.S. retail prices for bacon and chicken breast meat rose more on a year-over-year basis than any other animal protein products.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals. Of the 16 items surveyed, 12 increased and four decreased in average price.
Bacon prices up 19 percent
Bacon saw the highest jump when compared to its retail price in 2016, increasing 19 percent to $5.24 per pound.
“Bacon was up significantly because of the lower inventory and higher prices of pork bellies. We saw a rally in wholesale bacon prices this summer and fall which is being reflected at the retail level,” said Dr. John Newton, AFBF’s director of market intelligence. “Bacon is a sexy food item in restaurants and everywhere else, creating an inventory decline and thus a price increase.”
Another pig meat product, sliced deli ham, increased at the retail level by 3 percent to $5.62 per pound.
Chicken breast prices up 9 percent
The second biggest mover was chicken breast, which saw retail prices increase 9 percent to $3.13 per pound.
“Supply and demand for chicken breasts is tight, which is why retail prices are higher,” Newton said.
Retail egg prices down 3 percent
The survey revealed a 3 percent decline in retail prices for eggs, with an average price of $1.44 per dozen.
“Egg supplies are fully rebuilt from what we saw a few years ago and we are seeing egg prices continue to come back to where they were prior to the [avian influenza outbreak] a few years ago,” Newton explained.
AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, began conducting informal quarterly marketbasket surveys of retail food price trends in 1989. The series includes a Spring Picnic survey, Summer Cookout survey, Fall Harvest survey and Thanksgiving survey.