Food Prices Going Up
You’ve likely noticed that the same amount of money doesn’t fill as many grocery bags as it did just a year and a half ago.
That’s because the price of nearly every food item from beef to milk to produce is up.
Carolyn Chelius, a USDA economist, says the trend does not appear to be slowing anytime soon.
Chelius has been tracking the numbers and has a forecast for food prices for this year.
Chelius: “ So far compared to 2020, in 2021 all food prices have increased 2.7% and we’re predicting in 2021 they’ll increase between 3% and 4%. Food away from home or restaurant prices have increased 3.3%. And we’re predicting they’ll increase 3.5% to 4.5%. Food at home or grocery store food prices have increased 2.1% and we’re predicting they’ll increase between 2.5% and 3.5%.”
Compared to this time a year ago, we are paying 12% more for beef, 6% more for poultry, and almost 10% more for pork.
Why the higher grocery and restaurant bills? Pandemic-related supply chain issues continue. Ranchers and producers have seen their prices rise significantly. For example, the cost of feed for livestock is up 30%. Transportation prices have gone up. And demand is still extremely high both in the US and for food exports. At the same time, supply has been about level. The fast pace of rising food prices is expected to continue and then level off sometime next year.