According to the most recent CPI report, food prices are up for the third consecutive month. The overall price index experienced a 0.1% increase in November, slightly lower than October’s 0.2% jump.

Food at home 

The price index for food at home, which rose by 0.3% in October, only saw a 0.1% increase in November. 

Four of the major grocery store food groups experienced growth this past month: dairy and related products (up 0.6%); nonalcoholic beverages; meat, poultry, fish, and eggs; and cereals and bakery products. The only category in which prices declined last month was fruits and vegetables, which dropped 0.7%, following a 0.9% increase in October. This is primarily due to a 1.6% price reduction for fresh fruits. The November prices for other food at home remained consistent throughout the month. 

Overall, the food at home price index grew by 1.0% over the past year. All of the food groups increased over that period, with dairy and related products experiencing the greatest gain (2.6%).  

Food away from home

Prices for food away from home have consistently risen month after month, and November was no exception — the price index again rose by 0.2%. Both limited and full service meals saw an increase:

  • Full service meals: +0.3%
  • Limited service meals: +0.1%

The 12-month unadjusted index change for food away from home is now +3.2%, with full service meals at +3.6% and limited service meals at +3.0% for the period.

For the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, the USDA predicts that overall food prices will continue to either decrease or increase at lower-than-average rates.