Food Price Changes

I happened to run across this document put out by the USDA Economic Research Service about a month ago (see the associated spreadsheet). I occasionally get calls from reporters asking about changes in food prices, so I thought I'd put the data in a couple graphs for easy digestion.  

First, overall food prices continued to rise in 2012 (at a rate of 2.3% away from home and 2.5% at home).  However, the rate of increase in prices of food at home has fallen from 4.8% in 2011 to 2.5% in 2012, and exactly the opposite has happened for food away from home (going from 1.3% in 2011 to 2.4% in 2012).  


What about individual food categories at home?  The following shows the percent change price of various food types from 2011 to 2012.  Beef and veal, fats and oils, and poultry all experienced rapid price increases (all over 5%).  Interestingly, the price of fresh fruits only rose 1% and prices of fresh vegetables fell 5.1%.