Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wholesale Food Prices Rise Again In February

Wholesale food prices rose again in February at both the final and intermediate demand stages, according to Producer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released March 14. Wholesale food prices at the final demand level rose 0.6%, following a 1% jump in January. Food prices at the final demand stage fell four of the last five months of 2013. At the intermediate level, processed foods and feeds prices were up 1.1% while unprocessed foodstuffs and feedstuffs saw a 0.5% increase.

The BLS changed the way it calculates producer prices beginning with the January 2014 report. The government research arm has implemented a final-demand/intermediate-demand aggregation reporting system, instead of the previous stage-of-processing system. BLS now reports PPIs for services, construction, government purchases and exports in addition to the previously reported price change of goods, including food and feeds.

The National Restaurant Association uses a formula to calculate overall wholesale food-price changes. They now have revised the formula and reported March 14 that overall wholesale food prices rose 0.2% in February and stand 2.6% higher than in February 2013, the strongest 12-month gain in seven months.

Food categories that saw big increases in February included eggs—jumping 19.6%—cheese and butter. Beef and veal prices, which have been on an upswing, were up 2.4%. But prices for other proteins were stable or fell slightly during the month, as did most fruits and vegetables.

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