Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wholesale Food And Menu Prices Continue To Rise

Both wholesale food prices and menu prices rose again in July according to data from the Producer and Consumer Price Indexes maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall wholesale food prices, as computed by the National Restaurant Association, rose 0.1% while menu prices were up 0.2% for the fourth time in the past five months. Both indices can be expected to continue rising as the effects of this summer’s drought begins to work its way through the system, though there may be a short-term decline in protein prices as farmers reduce herd and flock sizes to minimize feed costs. Prices for beef and veal and processed poultry were lower in July, while pork prices rose.

The gain in wholesale food prices is only 1.4% for the past 12 months, but food prices remain elevated after large gains in 2010 and ’11.

On the consumer side, menu prices once again outpaced those at retail food venues; prices for food-at-home were flat in July. During the past 12 months, food-at-home prices have risen only 1.9% while menu prices are up 2.9%. Grocery-store prices are typically more volatile than menu prices and can be expected to surge once food prices begin to rise because of the drought.

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