Close-up, Lime on the counters in the supermarket

Food prices went up by 1.0% in February, following January’s 0.9% increase, according to the most recent CPI report. This marks the fourteenth consecutive month of food price increases.

Food at home

The food at home index went up 1.4% over the month of February, with price increases in all six major grocery store food groups. The index for fruits and vegetables showed the highest increase at 2.3%, marking this group’s largest monthly increase since March 2010. The dairy and related products group experienced its largest monthly increase since April 2011, rising 1.9%.

Price changes for the other major grocery store groups included:

  • Nonalcoholic beverages: +1.6% (unchanged in January)
  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: +1.2% (+0.3% in January)
  • Cereals and bakery products: +1.1% (+1.8% in January)
  • Other food at home: +0.8% (+1.6% in January)

Over the past twelve months, the food at home index jumped 8.6%, reflecting price increases for all six of the major grocery store food groups. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs had the largest increase during this period at 13.0%, with beef prices rising 16.2%.

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The food away from home index increased 0.4% in February, a slightly smaller increase than January’s 0.7%. The index for full service meals rose 0.6% and the index for limited service meals increased 0.3%. Both groups experienced a 0.7% increase in January.

The food away from home index has increased 6.8% over the past twelve months, its largest 12-month increase since December 1981. The index for limited service meals increased 8.0% during this time, while the index for full service meals rose 7.5%.

Food at employee sites and schools, however, declined 40.7%, which reflects a continuation of widespread free lunch programs.

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