Wholesale Food And Menu Prices Rise In October

After three months of declines and flat prices, overall wholesale food prices rose 0.5% in October, according to the latest Producer Price Index data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In spite of the recent moderation in wholesale food prices, strong price increases earlier in the year have pushed wholesale food prices 3.3% higher than a year ago. It is the largest 12-month increase in the index in three years.

Individual commodity prices were mixed. Beef prices rose 4.5% versus the previous month, but pork prices fell 8%. Poultry prices fell 2%. Fresh vegetable prices soared 25%, partially a seasonal issue, but fruits and melon prices fell 7% and most dairy products were lower.

Meanwhile, operators continued to push menu prices higher, according to BLS Consumer Price Index data for October, though the pace of increase slowed to 0.1% after two months of 0.3% increases. Grocery store prices for the month were flat. Over the previous 12 months, menu prices have risen 2.3% while grocery store prices are up 0.6%. The 12-month grocery price increase has been below 1% for 28 consecutive months, while menu prices have averaged a 2.2% to 2.5% increase during the same period.

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