Q:

What's a good way to find the average retail prices of different foods?

A:

Quick Answer

To find average retail prices of different foods, check the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistic’s report “Average Retail Food and Energy Prices.” The report is available in print or on the BLS website. Bloomberg also makes this information available through its media outlets.

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Full Answer

Although the BLS databases contain pricing information and indexing for all U.S. regions, the current “Average Retail Food and Energy Prices” report covers US. cities but only supplies region-specific information for the Midwest. Average prices listed include data for September and October 2015, with comparisons for the same months in 2014.

The report groups foods into standard categories such as Cereals and Bakery Products; Meats, Poultry, Fish and Eggs; Dairy Products; and Fruits and Vegetables, with specific types of food listed under each heading. For instance, the first item in the Dairy Products category is whole milk, which showed an average city price of $3.392 per gallon in September and $3.338 in October. However, people living in the Midwest paid $2.925 and $2.847 per gallon of milk in September and October, respectively. The “Average Retail Food and Energy Prices” report also includes pricing information for alcoholic beverages, as well as listing average energy costs.

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