Black female customer in mask calling on mobile phone while shopping for food, reaching upper shelf at mall. Millennial African American woman buying groceries at supermarket during covid outbreak

After a slight rise of 0.1% in January, the food price index inched up by 0.2% in February, according to the most recent CPI report. This reflects varying price changes within food at home and food away from home.  

Food at home 

Prices for food at home increased by 0.3% in February, following January’s 0.1% dip. Four of the six major grocery store groups had price growth for the month, of which fruits and vegetables experienced the largest price increase at 0.7%. This growth stems from a 1.8% rise in fresh fruit prices — the subcategory’s highest jump since March 2014.

  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.7% (-0.2% in January)
  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: +0.3% (+0.5% in January)
  • Cereals and bakery products: +0.5% (-0.8% in January)
  • Other food at home: +0.1% (-0.3% in January)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.1% (+0.1% in January)
  • Dairy and related products: -0.2% (-0.4% in January)

Over the past year, the food at home price index increased by 3.5%, representing upward trends for all six grocery store groups for the period. Price growth ranged from 2.7% (cereals and bakery products, dairy and related products) to 5.2% (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs).

Food away from home

Food away from home prices rose by 0.1% in February, slightly less than January’s 0.3% increase. Limited service and full service meals both experienced price growth for the month:

  • Limited service meals: +0.4% (+0.6% in January)
  • Full service meals: +0.3% (+0.3% in January)

Over the past 12 months, the food away from home price index grew by 3.7%. Limited service meals set a new record with a jump of 6.3%, its largest 12-month increase in the history of the index. The increase for full service meals was much lower for the period, at 2.9%.

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