If you think you see a light at the end of the grocery aisle, you are wrong. The prices of your consumer goods are going to continue to rise as inflation keeps marching on in America.
Your bill from the cashier at the supermarket has been higher than usual this year. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture is indicating that food costs are going to keep rising through this year. The government agency is relying on their Economic Research Service. They have released a Food Price Outlook for 2022, which discovered that between February 2021 and February 2022, food prices in America rose by 7.9%. They also discovered that prices will keep going up.
Certain aisles in your store are going to be hit harder than other aisles, according to the report. There will be higher prices on proteins like beef, bacon, and eggs. This is also forcing restaurant prices to be hiked as they deal with the ongoing supply chain shortages. This is also why fresh produce will be hit hard with price increases in the coming year.
The Department of Agriculture is predicting that prices in grocery stores will increase by approximately 3 to 4%. The cost of your meal in a restaurant will likely increase by 5 to 6.5%. These increases will rise even faster than the general rate of inflation.
According to the USDA, here is the kind of increases you can expect on our most purchased items at the grocery store:
Beef and veal: +16.2%
Fish and seafood: +10.4%
Fats and oils: +11.7%
Fresh fruits: +10.6%
Fresh vegetables: +4.3%
Processed fruits and vegetables: +7.6%
Sugars and sweets: +7%
Cereals and bakery products: +7.8%
If you are bent on finding some slim sliver of a silver lining, you can find some satisfaction in the fact that the percentages are less than the food price increases were last year. Does that mean that the worst is behind us? No one really knows.
Who or what is to blame for the hit we are taking in the grocery store and the increases that are still ahead of us? We can certainly blame the Russians. Their war with Ukraine has had a significant effect on the food supply in America. It has ended a large portion of global goods like wheat, corn, and sunflower oil that came from both countries.
Another culprit is certainly the pandemic. COVID-19 forced food prices to go up according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.
And goes what some experts are focused on? Another outbreak of diseases in 2022. They are focused on the bird flu that could impact the poultry industry, according to The Washington Post.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, there will be significant disruption in food resources for communities that have previously battled with food security. They indicate that 44 million more people in the world will experience poverty because of increasing food costs. Experts say that not only will families feel this strain, but entire societies. Some people watching this are concerned about the social unrest that could be linked to rising food prices, according to The New York Times.
The government is trying to offer solutions before things get much worse. President Joe Biden is pushing for antitrust regulations. But maybe we should be looking at the queen of Tik Tok foraging. She is challenging people to find their own wild ingredients.
So, is that what it’s come to? Families will be picking dandelions this spring for their evening meal.