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12/10/2021

Food prices are the highest in 13 years

Bureau of Labor Statistics released latest Consumer Price Index, and all pricing is at a record 12-month high.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

Inflation continues to apply pressure on the retail sector. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest Consumer Price Index update, reporting a 6.8% increase in prices, year over year, and an overall price increase of .8% in November vs. October. 

The annual jump is the largest since June 1982, per the report. Within the food category, the annual price increase is 6.1%, the largest increase in at least 13 years.

The November food index increased .7% and the index for food at home increased .8%. It is obvious retailers and private brands are feeling the impacts of inflation. Dollar Tree, for example, was forced to increase its $1 price point to a $1.25.

On the other hand, going into 2022, analysts IRI, while showing a current dip in overall market share for private brands due to the inflationary challenges, the company expects private label products to gain share with a focus on value. IRI is already seeing increased share in areas such as meat.

Price of pork rose 2.2% just in November. The food index increased 6.1% for 12 months, the highest in at least 13 years.

However, for November, the price index showed sharp increases across every food category. The food index increased 0.7% in November after rising 0.9% in both

September and October. The food at home index increased 0.8% in November as all six major grocery store food group indexes rose; this was the third consecutive month that all six increased. The indexes for other food at home and for fruits and vegetables both increased 1% in November. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.9% in November. Within this group, the index for pork rose sharply, increasing 2.2%, while the index for eggs declined in November, falling 2.7%. 

The cereals and bakery products index increased 0.8% in November after larger increases in September and October. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.2% over the month, the same increase as the prior month. The index for nonalcoholic beverages also rose 0.2%, its smallest monthly increase in the last 6 months.  

The food away from home index rose 0.6% in November following a 0.8% increase during the prior month. The index for limited service meals continued to rise sharply, increasing 1.0% over the month, while the index for full service meals rose 0.4% in November.  

The food at home index rose 6.4% over the past 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 2008. All of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased over the period. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 12.8%, with the index for beef rising

20.9%. The index for dairy and related products posted the smallest increase, rising 1.6% over the last 12 months. The remaining major grocery store food group indexes posted increases ranging from 4% (fruits and vegetables) to 5.7% (other food at home). 

The index for food away from home rose 5.8% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending January 1982. The index for limited service meals rose 7.9% over the last 12 months, and the index for full service meals rose 6%.