Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wholesale Food Prices Flat Again In August

Average wholesale food prices increased only slightly again in August, according to Producer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Sept. 11. A surge in egg prices helped move the index for foods at the final demand stage up 0.3%, while prices for processed foods and feeds at the intermediate demand stage were flat and unprocessed foods and feedstuff prices fell 0.1%. The National Restaurant Association had not released its averaging of wholesale food prices before we went to press.

Egg prices surged yet again in August, rising 23.2%. This follows moderating increases in egg prices in recent months, following the big spike in prices this spring resulting from an outbreak of avian flu. The BLS gave no explanation for the increase, but McDonald’s announcement that it will roll out all-day breakfast has many observers expecting the increased demand will put upward pressure on egg prices for the near future.

Still, the surge in prices for eggs remains an outlier in food commodities pricing trends. Through July, overall wholesale food prices were running 2.1% lower than a year ago. The drop in food prices during the first half of the year has helped operator margins and, thus, provided cash for capital spending, throughout 2015.

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