Foodservice Equipment Reports

Food And Menu Prices Continue To Rise

Gasoline isn’t the only commodity critical to foodservice that has been inflating. Food prices rose again in January, as extreme weather affected fruits and vegetable prices. On the retail side, prices were also up at the menu level and in grocery stores.

Overall wholesale food prices rose 0.8% in January, according to the National Restaurant Association. It was the third consecutive month of strong gains. So-called “finished” food prices were up more moderately at 0.3%. Overall prices were up 1.3% in November and 1.1% in December. During the past 12 months, wholesale food prices jumped 5.3%.

Grocery stores, which react more closely with wholesale prices, pushed prices 0.7% higher in January, the biggest jump in more than two years, according to data from the Consumer Price Index maintain by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices at grocery stores have risen 2.1% during the past 12 months.

Restaurants have been more cautious about pushing the cost increase through to the customers. Menu prices rose 0.2% in January and are only 2.1% ahead of a year ago.

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