The latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey showed that retail food prices at supermarkets are up 6 percent in the third quarter of 2013 from the previous quarter.
From last year's third quarter, prices rose 3.5 percent, the survey showed.
The survey, which follows the prices of 16 basic grocery items during the four quarters of the year, indicated that the price of eight out of the 16 items increased.
“Chicken breast had the largest increase over the second quarter,” said Peggy Jo Goodfellow, the marketing manager at the Arizona Farm Bureau. “It was up $2.10.”
John Anderson, deputy chief economist at the American Farm Bureau, said in a news release, “Stronger demand on the consumer side helped push retail prices higher for some items such as chicken breasts, bacon and shredded cheese.”
“Meat and dairy items will likely be the main driving force behind expected retail food price increase in the coming year,” Anderson added.
While some meat product prices increased, the retail prices of others, such as sirloin roast and ground chuck, decreased. Milk was the product with the largest decline in price at $2.45 a gallon, 62 cents lower than the price from the previous quarter.
Goodfellow said in the fourth quarter of 2013, retail food prices at supermarkets are anticipated to level off.
Yoohyun Jung is a University of Arizona journalism student and apprentice at Arizona Public Media.