After inching up by 0.1% in March, the food price index climbed 0.4% in April, according to the most recent CPI report. This jump marks the fourth consecutive month of food price increases.

Rising costs of labor, materials, and shipping have contributed to the surge in food prices over the past year, causing food prices in 2020 to increase by more than double the amount they increased in 2019.

Food at home 

Food at home prices also went up by 0.4% in April, following March’s smaller increase of 0.1%. 

All six of the major grocery store groups showed price growth for the month. Fruits and vegetables led the way with an increase of 0.8% in April, mostly thanks to a jump of 1.5% for fresh fruits. 

  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.8% (+1.0% in March)
  • Dairy and related products: +0.6% (-0.5% in March)
  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: +0.5% (+0.1% in March)
  • Cereals and bakery products: +0.4% (-0.1% in March)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: +0.3% (-0.2% in March)
  • Other food at home: +0.1% (Unchanged in March)

Over the past year, the food at home index rose by 1.2%. All six grocery store groups increased for the 12-month period, ranging from 0.1% (cereals and bakery products) to 3.3% (fruits and vegetables).

Food away from home

Prices for food away from home continued their upward trend, rising by 0.3% in April, after a smaller increase of 0.1% in March. The indexes for both limited service and full service meals increased last month:

  • Limited service meals: +0.5% (+0.5% in March)
  • Full service meals: +0.2% (+0.2% in March)

The food away from home index went up by 3.8% over the past 12 months. Prices for limited service meals increased by 6.2% during that period, while full service meals grew by 3.7%.

However, the latest CPI report notes a significant price decrease of 35.2% over the last year for food at employee sites and schools.