Foodservice Equipment Reports

Food Prices Spike Again In July

The rise in food prices continued in July as prices at the wholesale level rose another 1.1% during the month, the sixth consecutive increase during the past seven months. For the past 12 months, prices at the wholesale level, as computed by the National Restaurant Association from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price data, have risen 7.1%. It's the strongest annual gain in three years.

Among the individual commodities, beef and veal prices are up 26.5% over the past 12 months, while pork prices have jumped 28.4%. Dairy products as a whole are 12.1% higher while butter prices have doubled. Poultry price increases have been less robust but are still 6.5% ahead of a year ago. Unprocessed and packaged fish prices are up 13.9%.

The increases are cutting into foodservice operator margins, which in turn impacts available capital for purchases of equipment and supplies.

On the retail side, both grocery-store and menu prices also rose, according to data from the BLS Consumer Price Index. Food-at-home prices rose 0.4% while menu prices were up 0.3% vs. June prices. For the past 12 months, grocery-store prices have risen 2.7% while menu prices are running 2.4% higher.

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