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Food Prices Predicted to Rise 2% to 3% This Year

Food Prices Predicted to Rise 2% to 3% This Year

Food prices are the highest they’ve ever been, and will get even higher, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released its 2011 Consumer Price Index analysis for projections on food prices this week: This year, food prices are expected to increase by 2% to 3%. Wenonah Hunter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, links the spike in food prices to  the consolidation of our food supply as companies that produce such staples as dairy and beef have merged.  

“This week’s release of the USDA 2011 Consumer Price Index analysis demonstrates that a more industrialized, consolidated food supply does not translate to lower grocery bills for consumers. I encourage the news media to look beyond the routine justifications of rising feed and fuel costs and take a critical look at the role consolidation of our food system plays in consumers’ rising food bills.


“Although all food prices are expected to increase in the coming year, inflation for beef, pork, eggs and dairy is anticipated to be sharpest. Not coincidentally, these are the same industries that have experienced the most consolidation over the past two decades and are controlled by the fewest number of large agribusinesses.


“While these largest companies claim that mergers and acquisitions allow for efficiencies of scale that create cost savings for consumers, the reality is consumers rarely see a decrease in what they pay for food. And, as the USDA’s latest CPI indicates, consumers are about to experience even higher prices that could increase inflation overall.”


In other words, any ‘savings’ created by large-scale agribusiness are not being passed on to us consumers. The swallowing up of smaller food providers is making our lunch (and breakfast and dinner) a lot more costly.  

For more about how factory farms affect all of us (including animals), see this factory farm map, created by Food & Water Watch

Beef prices were already up by 6.1% in December compared with a year earlier, today’s LA Times notes. Earlier this week, McDonalds announced that it is considering raising the price of some of its menu items, to offset the rising cost of beef:

Company representatives have reportedly said that the average price the fast-food chain pays for its most-used ingredients — such as chicken, wheat and cheese — could increase as much as 2.5% in 2011. And other leading packaged-food companies, including Kraft Foods Inc. and Sara Lee Corp., have warned consumers that higher prices are coming this year.

The price of a bagel went up at one of our local haunts last fall. My son is a teenager who won’t stop growing and every time I go to the grocery store (practically every day, lately), I wince when I see the total on the cash register—looks like we’re all going to saying ‘ouch’ at the grocery store and elsewhere very soon. 

Previous Care2 posts
Food Prices Spike Worldwide: And They’re Going Higher

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54 comments

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10:28AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

Thank you for posting.

2:50PM PST on Feb 7, 2011

Noted. Thank you.

8:44AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

One reason for increasing food costs is rising oil prices. That makes the transportation of food more expensive. If the chaos in the middle east continues, we could see prices increase more than just 2-3%.

7:55PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Les énergies sales sont la seule cause des augmentations
des prix a la consommation,une bonne façon de ralentir
la surconsommation,mais ca vas affecter encore plus les
plus démunis./

6:20PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Thanks for the information.

1:07PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Wonderful. Glad I don't eat expensive, toxic meat!

11:41AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

one day, a box of macaroni will be 100 dollars.

6:35PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

So true, and yet the government says the cost of living has not inceased, therefore the people who depend on social security have not, and will not get an increase. What's wrong with them? They give away millions to other countries but do nothing for the elderly in our own country? There is something very wron with this way of thinking. Our own people should come first before anyone else!

4:56PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

noted

12:51PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

The so called “independent” Fed Reserve’s “printing money” causes inflation that ordinary people understand. However from economic point of view, they are trying to prevent deflation. It is because their view is for investor not you and I as a consumer. Democratic Party created this banking club. In the past few decades, it helps the riche and destroying the middle class. It is ironic that GOP’s supporters were/are able to benefit from this club under any administration. You as ordinary people please don’t be fool by both parties. You may not like Tea Party, but they are the one is trying to stop the club. The tea party’s supporters also know how to benefit from without this club. In other words, do you know how to be benefited under both parties administration? If we don’t, we need to wake up then do our home work for next election.

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