Kentucky food prices hit new highs, up 5.7%

Food prices in Kentucky jumped almost 6 percent in the third quarter over the year before — an increase of $6.45 for basic grocery items — to the highest average in 40 years, according to Kentucky Farm Bureau's quarterly survey.

The Farm Bureau tracks prices across the state on 40 staples and compares them over time. In September's survey, the total cost was $119.15, up 5.7 percent, to the highest average total in the survey's four-decade history.

This is also the first time in five years that all six categories — beef, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, pork, and poultry — showed an increase at the same time.

Just three months ago, the survey showed the opposite results, with food prices averaging an across-the-board decline across the state.

The survey indicates that Kentucky food prices are finally beginning to reflect the national trend toward higher costs, with a 2.8 percent increase just from the previous three months, according to Farm Bureau.

The fruits and vegetables category showed the greatest total gain with an overall average price jump of 10.7 percent ($2.05).

Single biggest price increase: Idaho potatoes, up an average of $1.77 per 10-pound bag. Overall, 28 of the 40 items in the Marketbasket Survey experienced increases in average price, 11 decreased and one item (2% milk) was unchanged.