Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wholesale Food Prices Rise Again In October

Nearly everyone expects big jumps in food prices, especially for proteins, over the next year or so, thanks to the ongoing drought in the United States. October’s wholesale food-price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index make it clear the increases have already begun.

The PPI charts food prices at three levels within the wholesale arena: finished, intermediate and crude. All three indexes rose in October. The finished foods index rose 0.4%, the intermediate index 0.7% and the crude measure 1.9%. At the finished level, prices have risen for five straight months. Intermediate food prices have risen for eight consecutive months. And crude foods have seen price increases for four months. Dairy, pork and poultry led the increases.

Meanwhile, the increases at the wholesale level are beginning to show up at the retail level. Data from the BLS Consumer Price Index show a monthly increase of 0.3% for food-at-home prices, compared to a 0.1% rise in menu prices. For the past 12 months, food-at-home prices have risen only 1% while prices in restaurants are up 2.7%.

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