COVID-related problems caused grocery food prices to increase 3.5%, will not stop anytime soon

You have probably noticed you are spending more money on your meals.

COVID-related problems raised grocery store food prices 3.5 percent over last year. USDA notes this is far higher than the usual increases and predicts it will not stop anytime soon.

Meat prices are a big part of that higher trend, but a top USDA economist says that there is some offset.

According to Carolyn Chelius, “Meats only make up about 22 percent of food at home prices, and although prices have increased a fair amount over the course of 2021, so far-- and they will drive up the cost of food at home-- there are other categories that have an increased that much so far this year, such as cereal and bakery products.”

With restaurants reopening, demand for meat is higher and it is getting more expensive to produce.

In fact, USDA expects food prices to continue trending upward next year and the early forecast shows inflation for all food will rise 2-3 percent. Food eaten away from home could rise 3-4 percent, while food at home may only rise 1.5-2.5 percent.

USDA says economy-wide inflation remains very high but some food may actually go down in price, like eggs and dairy, but a lot can change in another 18 months.


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