May is the ninth month in a row that food prices have been on the rise, according to the most recent CPI report. The overall food price index went up by 0.7% last month. While this is only about half as much as April’s 1.5% increase, it’s still higher than average growth rates were at the beginning of the year.  

Food at home 

After a significant increase of 2.6% in April, food at home prices jumped by 1% in May. The biggest driver of this growth was again the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs category, which rose by 3.7%. Beef prices experienced a record-setting 10.8% increase in May.

The other major grocery store food groups had less dramatic but notable price index changes:

  • Dairy and related products: +1.0% (+1.5% in April)
  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.5% (+1.5% in April)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: Unchanged (+2.9% in April)
  • Other food at home: Unchanged
  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.2% (+2.9% in April)

Continued growth in May boosted the 12-month index change for food at home to 4.8% (up from 4.1% in April). All the major grocery store food group prices rose during that period, with the largest increases among the following:

  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: 10% (18.2% increase in beef prices)
  • Dairy and related products: 5.7%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: 4.1%

Food away from home

After only going up by 0.1% in April, food away from home prices rose by 0.4% in May. Both limited and full service meals saw increases: 

  • Limited service meals: +0.6% (+0.7% in April)
  • Full service meals: +0.2% (-0.3% in April)

This brings the 12-month index for food away from home to +2.9%, with limited service meals at +3.6% and full service meals at +2.4% for the period.