Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wholesale Food Prices Dip Again In September

After posting strong gains in six of the first seven months of 2014, food prices at the wholesale level fell 0.3% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Restaurant Association. The drop follows a modest 0.1% dip in August.

But thanks to the increases earlier this year, wholesale food prices are running 6.2% ahead of this time a year ago and are on pace for their strongest gain in three years. And key proteins, such as beef, pork and dairy products, have seen big price spurts. Beef and veal prices are up 26.8% and pork prices have risen 13.1% over the past 12 months. Dairy products and some fish and seafood are also up double digits.

In response to the wholesale price increases, foodservice operators have become more aggressive with menu price hikes. Menu prices were up 0.3% in September, according to BLS data from the Consumer Price Index, and have risen 2.7% over the past year. Grocery-store food prices also rose 0.3% last month and are running 3.2% higher over the past 12 months.

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