Sticker Shock in the Organic Aisles - New York Times
... In some parts of the country, a loaf of organic bread can cost $4.50, a
pound of pasta has hit $3, and organic milk is closing in on $7 a
... Over all, grocery prices have increased about 5 percent over the last
year, though some staples like conventional eggs jumped 30 percent and
milk, 13 percent, according to the Consumer Price Index. That
government index does not break out prices for organic food.
... The average retail price for Eggland’s Best Organic eggs in 2007 ranged
from $3.79 to $4.29, company officials said. So far this year, the
range has risen to $4.59 to $4.99.
... Organic food is typically 20 percent to 100 percent more expensive than
a conventional counterpart; the gap has narrowed in recent years as
discount retailers like Wal-Mart have offered organics and more private-label organic products have become available, according to the industry.
... Americans spent $16.7 billion on organic food and beverages in 2006, a
126 percent increase in just five years, according to the Organic Trade
Association, an industry trade group. Organic sales account for about
2.8 percent of food and beverage sales in the United States.
...“In the last three months or four months, everyone along the chain
in organic food is not making their margins,” said Bob Eberly,
president of Eberly Poultry in Stevens, Pa. The cost of raising poultry
has increased 16 percent in the last six months, but he said his prices
had increased only 7 percent.
“In the next month or so, our customers are going to see a significant price increase,” he said. “We just have to do it.”