If you’ve ever considered becoming a vegetarian, now may be the perfect time.
Food prices in grocery stores surged across the board during the pandemic as demand surged and labor shortages and other disruptions added costs at almost every stage of the food supply chain.
Meat and fish prices have been leading so far this year, with pork prices rising the most with an average of 5.4%. According to the USDA, fresh vegetables were the least in any category, rising an average of 0.5%.
Throughout 2021, home food prices are expected to jump between 2.5% and 3.5%, according to the USDA. This is in addition to last year’s 3.5% increase, which was the biggest bounce since 2011 (price actually fell in 2016 and 2017).
Heather Garlich, a spokeswoman for The Food Industry Association, based in Arlington, Virginia, said on the demand side, “the shift from home food culture to culinary culture.” “Demand has doubled overnight. Demand hasn’t diminished.”
According to the Food Association, average household spending at grocery stores surged to $ 161 a week during the height of the pandemic blockade last year and is now stable at $ 143. In 2019, the average weekly spending before the pandemic was $ 113.50.
Increased spending reflects both higher household meals and higher prices.
Meat, chicken and fish prices are projected to rise 4% to 5% this year, and pork prices are 6% to 7%, beef and veal as producers counter rising feed costs and demand. Prices will increase by 5% to 6%. Unreliable supply chain. (Wholesale prices for meat and chicken are expected to rise further, ranging from 16% to 20%).
The biggest rise in food prices in 2020 was beef and veal, up 9.6%. According to the USDA, pork increased by 6.3% and poultry increased by 5.6%.
As of August, more Americans (50%) were more concerned about rising food prices than out-of-stock items (36%), Garrich said.
“The biggest challenges in the supply chain are primarily due to lack of human capital, especially for both short- and long-distance truck drivers to transport goods,” she said. “Congestion is occurring at the port as the container shortage continues.”
Price increases are also offered at restaurants. According to the USDA, the cost of meals away from home is projected to rise between 3.5% and 4.5% this year.
Abbey Omodumbi, senior economist at Pittsburgh’s PNC Financial Services Group, said it is generally difficult to raise the price of “luxury items” such as expensive cuts of steaks above so-called necessities. rice field.
“People are going to buy them regardless, so it’s easy to pass the higher costs of milk, bread, eggs, fruits and vegetables,” he said.
For some consumers, nearly 19 months of the COVID-19 pandemic that supply chain problems have not been resolved is incredible.
Omodumbi said the problem was that distribution networks were groaning around the world.
“Many raw materials and raw materials are imported into this country,” he said. “In other parts of the world (India, Brazil, and many emerging economies), vaccination rates are very low. The longer it takes for vaccination campaigns to reach a certain point, the more the supply chain. The confusion will be long. “
“What we see is extended delivery times for food from different parts of the world, which is increasing costs.”
When can shoppers see peace of mind?
The USDA predicts that food price increases will slow to 1.5% to 2.5% in 2022, approaching the 20-year average of 2%. Price increases at restaurants are also expected to ease from 3% to 4%.
“We expect the growth to slow as supply chain disruptions improve and producers can increase supply to meet demand,” said Omodumbi.
“”[That’s] Unless added [pandemic] There are limits and the delta variant never gets out of control. “
Fresh ingredients such as broccoli and red cabbage will be atomized on July 23, 2020 at the Charley Family Shop’n Save in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.
Supply chain is growing