You're not imagining it: grocery prices are soaring
Prices saw their biggest increase since 1974
If you’ve felt like you’re spending more every time you go to the grocery store these days, you’re not imagining it. Grocery store prices are soaring. In fact, in April they saw their biggest single-month increase since 1974.
Overall, the price of groceries grew 2.6% last month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The dramatic rise in prices is because coronavirus disrupted the food supply chain. Demand shot up when we all started cooking for home, but producers and farmers weren’t able to keep up with this demand. According to Food and Wine, at the start of this month, beef and pork processing capacity in the US had fallen by 40% compared to the same time last year, because so many meat processing plants have temporarily closed.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recently released Consumer Price Index revealed that the cost of meat, poultry, fish and eggs rose by 4.3%. The price of eggs alone jumped by 16.1%.
Non-alcoholic drinks went up by 2.9%, while dairy and fruit and vegetables rose by a more manageable 1.5%. Baked goods and cereal went up by 2.9% - that’s the biggest single-month rise in more than 100 years.
“I do think this will probably continue for several months,” David Henkes, a senior principal at foodservice research firm Technomic, told Boston.com. “There are production issues in some parts of the food industry, and it’s hard to realign the supply chain overnight. At the same time, each of these manufacturers and distributors needs to figure out how to start re-servicing restaurants and other food service establishments as they start to come back online, all of which will have an impact on supply, demand and ultimately pricing."