Food Prices Remain Elevated, With Signs of Easing

In August, U.S. food prices were up over 4%, compared to the usual 1.3% increase in past years. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs have fueled this increase, which accumulatively rose 7.1% since last August.

Takeout food pricing has escalated 3.5% since the past year. Limited-service meals have gained 4.8% for the month, while full-serve meals have raised just 2.8% in the last 12 months. Grocery prices may be slowly relaxing month-by-month.

The index for at-home food has consistently decreased after sharp increases in prior months. These increases were largely due to shelter-in-place orders across the country. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 1.7% in August, while the other four major grocery food groups saw prices increase. Dairy related products rose 1.5% after declines in the past two months, and fruit, vegetables and non-alcoholic beverages all slightly increased as well.

Consumers are now seeing higher grocery bills than prior to COVID-19 and even versus a year ago due to fewer promotions. In August, 26.2% of units were sold on promotion, below the national average of 31.4%. The meat department has increased promotional activity, but this does not do much to offset total expenditure.

Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket retailer, stated that they are leveraging customer analytics to make price investments where it delivers the best value for shoppers and helps drive market share gains. They have been able to support customers on things that really matter, such as waving the pickup fee and investing in promotions.

As always, Chairmans Foods offers the highest quality dishes and sides for your operation. Contact us today to see how we can help your operation thrive!

To read more, visit Supermarket News.

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