Over the past year, almost every type of food has become more and more expensive.
Grocery prices in general are up 10%. Flour jumped 14.2%, milk rose 13.3%, eggs 11.2%, and fruits and vegetables 8.5%. Bacon increased 18.2%.
A number of factors restricted food supplies across several categories as demand remained strong, driving up prices across the board.
Osnato noted that it will take some time before prices fall.
“We’re not about to make our way out of it with a good American crop,” he said. “This is not going to solve anything. We will be in a high food price environment for more than a year.”
Not every food item has been more expensive in the last month. But many did.
Many of the goods stable on shelves saw big jumps from February to March, according to seasonally adjusted data from the BLS. Prices of canned vegetables jumped 4.2%, while those of dried beans, peas and lentils rose 4.4%. Rice prices rose 3.2%, and biscuits and bread increased 2.7%.
Fresh food is getting more expensive, too. Uncooked ground beef jumped 2.1%. Milk grew 1.3%. Fresh vegetables grew by 2.6%.
But the biggest jump? Butter increased by 6%.
“The global supply of milk has shrunk over the past six months or so dramatically,” said Rob Fox, director of knowledge sharing at CoBank, which provides financial services to agribusiness.
But why did butter rise 6% in March while milk only rose 1.3%?
Fox explained that when milk supplies are low and demand for milk increases or stabilizes, butter is the first thing to suffer. This is because it is a relatively small part of the dairy market. “It can have a lot of price volatility,” Fox said, noting that higher butter prices mean other dairy products may become more expensive as well.
Some items became cheaper last month. Donut prices are down 1.7%, peanut butter is down 1.5% and pork prices are down 1.2%.