Food costs spiked 11.4% over the past year, the largest annual increase since May 1979, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meat and poultry also grew costlier. Chicken prices jumped 16.6%, while meats rose 6.7% and pork increased 6.8%. Fruits and vegetables together are up 9.4%.
Why there’s no relief at the grocery store
Plus, it takes time for changes, such as decreases in ingredient prices, to funnel down to consumers. That means that relief from the surge grocery prices could lag declines in other areas.
And demand for food isn’t flexible — consumers may be able to skimp on other items, such as clothing or gasoline, but they have to eat. Even so, shoppers are increasingly making changes to their diets and shopping habits to cope with rising costs.
What got more expensive
The seasonally adjusted prices of most grocery items ticked up from July to August, but there were some standouts.
Margarine spiked the most, up 7.3%. Eggs were 2.9% more expensive and sugar was 2.4% higher, while flour and bread edged up 2.2%. Canned fruit prices rose 3.4% while fresh vegetables got 1.2% pricier.
Hot dog prices jumped 4.9%, while ham was up 1.3% and turkey rose 2.2%.
Some meat prices fell, however. Bacon was .5% less expensive, while the price of pork roasts, steaks and ribs fell 1.9%.
And some fruit prices moderated as well, with apples getting 2.3% cheaper and citrus fruits falling 1.6%.