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Shoppers welcome a drop in price for many popular food items

chicken legs
Chicken legs, eggs, turkey tails and fish lead the list

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A decrease in the cost of chicken legs and seven other commodities contributed to a slight drop in the Basic Food Index (BFI) last month, according to the February 2023 BFI released this week by the Commerce Department’s Statistics and Analysis Division.

However, the BFI shows that several other food items — such as ramen noodles and spare ribs increased in price in February. However, this is the second straight month in 2023 where food costs declined, as consumers hope for a reduction in the cost of living — especially when it comes to food.

For February 2023, DOC reports that the BFI declined by 1.1% — a larger drop than the decrease of -0.3% in January this year.

According to DOC, 8 food commodities contributed to February’s decrease, namely, chicken legs (-7.1%), eggs (-2.5%), turkey tail (-2.3%), fish (-1.6%), sausage (-1.5%), rice (-1.1%), ice cream (-0.9%), and butter (-0.2%).

Data in the BFI report shows that a 10kg case of chicken had an average price of $17.92 in January this year and dropped to $16.65 last month. Data also shows that turkey tails’ average price in January was $2.03 a pound and that dropped to $1.98 a pound in February.

Although there was a drop in the February BFI, DOC reports some food commodities such as ramen, spare ribs, soda, bread, mayonnaise, and milk have shown an increase this past month. However, other common commodities such as bottled water, taro, banana, canned tuna, sugar, and corned beef remain the same.

Several consumers contacted for comments by Samoa News after the new BFI was released, all say that they are hoping for continued drops in food prices this year, after a major spike in costs in 2022.

At least two consumers suggested that “if you have the time and energy, shop around at the many stores on island before making your final purchase. There are some that have lower prices than other stores in food items, such as milk, canned tuna, and corned beef.”

A total of 14 major to mid-sized retail stores have been selected for monitoring basic food costs on Tutuila island — from the far-west side to the far-east side.

The BFI report also include a chart showing annual average prices of each item from previous years. DOC explained that the annual averages were calculated using prices collected from the original seven stores that were used for the surveys in 2020, 2021 and most of 2022.

Since December of last year, 7 more stores have been added to the BFI — for a total of 14 stores.

For more information, please contact DOC’s Statistics & Analysis Division at 633-0120 or email