Food prices up from two years ago



BLUE HILL — If you feel like your wallet is lighter when you walk out of the grocery store, that’s because it is.

Prices for ground beef, milk and eggs have increased since 2012.

The figures reported are an average of the prices of each item at the Ellsworth Hannaford, Shaw’s Supermarket and Walmart.

Ground beef is up 13 percent. Two years ago, a shopper would have paid $3.81 for a pound of ground beef, 85 percent lean, while today that pound rings in at $4.32.

Beef prices have risen due in large part to cattle inventories, which have been at record lows due to droughts the past couple years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices are expected to rise further in 2014. The total number of cattle on Jan. 1, 2013, was the lowest herd size since 1952, the department stated.

There is one bright spot in the grocery aisle: peanut butter.

A 16-ounce jar of Skippy creamy peanut butter has decreased nearly 13 percent from $3.10 in 2012 to $2.70 this week.

That’s due in part to the peanut industry having suffered two years of drought and high heat in 2011, which drove prices up, according to a report by the American Peanut Council. The year 2012 brought a record peanut crop and peanut butter prices have since eased.

Bread, butter and Cheerios cereal prices have decreased slightly.

Feb. 9, 2012

Ground Beef $3.81

85 percent lean, 1 lb.

Peanut butter $3.10

Skippy, 16 oz.

Milk $3.83

2 percent, one gallon

White Bread $1.28

House brand 16 oz.

Butter $2.99

House brand, 16 oz.

Eggs $1.99

White, one doz. Large

Cheerios, 14 oz. $3.29

Feb. 4, 2014

Ground Beef $4.32 %change +13.4

85 percent lean, 1 lb.

Peanut butter $2.70 %change -12.9

Skippy, 16 oz.

Milk $4.03 %change +5.2

2 percent, one gallon

White Bread $1.14 %change -10.1

House brand 16 oz.

Butter $2.65 %change -12.8

House brand, 16 oz.

Eggs $2.15 %change +8.0

White, one doz. Large

Cheerios, 14 oz. $2.99 %change -10.3

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.