Shopping with kids during virus outbreak. Mother and child wearing surgical face mask buying fruit in supermarket

The overall food price index increased by 0.1% in August, according to the most recent CPI report. This follows July’s 0.4% decrease, which interrupted several consecutive months of rising prices.

Food at home 

After a 1.1% drop in July, food at home prices fell by just 0.1% in August. Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs are steadily coming back down from the sharp increases of recent months — this time it was a 1.7% drop. The beef index, which has experienced the most dramatic changes, fell by 4.4% in August.

All but one of the other five major grocery store food groups saw price increases last month:

  • Dairy and related products: +1.5% (-0.8% in July)
  • Other food at home: +0.5% (-0.2 in July)
  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.2% (+0.1% in July)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: +0.1% (-0.5% in July)
  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.2% (-0.4% in July)

The 12-month index change for food at home is currently +4.6%, during which time all of the major grocery store groups experienced price increases. Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs went up by 7.1% over the past year (9.6% rise in beef prices). Other food groups grew between 2.7% (fruits and vegetables) and 5.7% (dairy and related products). 

Food away from home

Food away from home prices maintained their growth streak in August with a 0.3% increase. However, this is the least the index has risen since April. Both limited and full service meals went up last month: 

  • Limited service meals: +0.4% (+0.6% in July)
  • Full service meals: +0.1% (+0.4% in July)

The past 12 months have seen an overall price increase of 3.5% for food away from home, with limited service meals at +4.8% for the period and full service meals at +2.8%.

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