Numerator: October Inflation A Mixed Bag

Shoppers continue to face rising prices, but see slight increases and decreases across key categories.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Greg Sleter profile picture
Grocery store prices

Prices in several key grocery categories in October were a mixed bag with some seeing an increase while others have remained flat or decreased slightly, according to Numerator’s Inflation Report.

Seasonally adjusted prices for all food-at-home purchases increased 0.6% between September and October, a modest deceleration from the 0.7% increase between August and September. Inflation for fruits and vegetables remained high, accelerating to 1.9% month-over-month, compared with 1.6% previously. 

Inflation decelerated for cereals and bakery products, down to 0.4% month-over-month from 0.9% previously, and for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, down to 0.3% month-over-month from 0.6% previously. The inflation rate remained the same this month compared with last month for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, at 0.4% month-over-month, and for dairy and related products, at 0.3% month-over-month.

According to Numerator, between October 2021 and October 2022, prices for food-at-home increased 12.3% overall, prices for cereals and bakery products increased 15.6%; prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 7.6%; prices for dairy and related products increased 15.6%; prices for fruits and vegetables increased 11.3%; and prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials increased 12.1%.

Consumers have reacted to higher prices for food-at-home items by shifting to lower-cost private-label brands, by shifting to lower-cost retailers, and by reducing the amount of items they buy. Overall, consumers are paying approximately 5% more for their monthly food-at-home basket while buying 9% fewer items.

The Numerator Inflation Report is produced and published by Numerator under the leadership of Numerator Chief Economist, Dr. Leo Feler. The report uses Numerator’s first-party and real-time consumer data, aligned with the methodology the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses to calculate the consumer price index.