After a small increase of 0.1% in August, the food price index remained stable in September, according to the most recent CPI report

Food at home 

Food at home prices dropped by 0.4% last month, more than August’s 0.1% decrease. This stems from price drops within five of the six major grocery store categories, including a record-setting decrease of 0.8% for nonalcoholic beverages (its largest drop since December 2010):

  • Cereals and bakery products: Unchanged (-0.2% in August)
  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: -0.4% (-1.7% in August)
  • Fruits and vegetables: -0.4% (+0.2% in August)
  • Dairy and related products: -0.5% (+1.5% in August)
  • Other food at home: -0.6% (+0.5% in August)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.8% (+0.1% in August)

Last month’s changes brought the 12-month index down from +4.6% to +4.1%. Prices for all of the major grocery store groups went up during that timespan, between 2.6% (cereals and bakery products) to 6.3% (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs).

Food away from home

Following a 0.3% increase in August, food away from home prices are still on the rise — by 0.6% in September.  

Prices for the limited service meals category jumped by 0.9% last month — its greatest monthly increase on record so far. Full service meals had a more modest increase of 0.3%. 

This growth pushed the 12-month index up from +3.5% to +3.8%, with limited service meals now at +5.5% for the period and full service meals at +2.8%.