Estimated price of fruit, groceries in 2013 will increase - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Estimated price of fruit, groceries in 2013 will increase

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LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) - The effects of the drought in the Midwest will ring up a heavy price at the grocery store checkout.

The 2013 Food Price Outlook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows food prices are on the rise, especially when it comes to fruit.

For those who want an apple a day, they may think twice when it comes time to paying at the grocery store.

The USDA estimates food prices increasing 3 to 4 percent in 2013.

And the healthy options, like that apple, are already being chewed hard by the price tag.

Quillin's manager Mike Doering said many things contribute to how that price is determined.

"Depending on what the weather is, depending on what the supplies are, dictates the price," Doering said.

The USDA reports the fresh fruit index for December 2012 is up 5.5 percent from December 2011, with apple prices seeing the largest price increase at 13.3 percent, citrus fruits up 3.2 percent, and other fresh fruits up 5.7 percent.

The only fruit not to see a price increase is the banana. Prices remained the same as last year.

But food prices are dependent on where you are in the country. Doering said he hasn't been raising the price of fruit.

"We haven't seen any increases in the price of apples, oranges as of late, not to say that can't change, but as for right now, they've been holding pretty steady," Doering said.

Doering may have luck with fruit prices, but in the past few weeks he said he's had to increase the price of a head of lettuce between $1 to $1.50.

His store gets the product from the south, and inclement weather caused a supply shortage.

Doering said he does hang up signs that explain to customers why they're paying more.

The USDA reports vegetable prices increased 1.5 percent in December but are down from the same time last year.

The December percentage increases are not seasonally adjusted.

Click here for the USDA Food Price Outlook 2013 Summary Findings

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