Grocery prices jumping.... again

Grocery prices jumping.... again
(Source: WECT)

No, it’s not your imagination, or a case of buying too much food in recent weeks. Grocery prices are jumping again in 2021, after a big rise last summer during the pandemic shortages.

According to the government’s Consumer Price Index, grocery prices jumped more than half a percent in the month of March.

If it continues, that could translate to a six percent hike this year, after an almost four percent jump last year.

Jackie Thompson first noticed rising prices last summer. ”I think it’s ridiculous, it is totally ridiculous,” she said. “$15 for a steak!”

Last summer, during a 2 month beef shortage, basic strip steaks went up from $7 to $12 a pound, while one of the cheapest cuts of meat, chuck roast, went up to $8 pound.

Luckily, beef prices have eased a bit since those highs.

But the USA says:

  • Bacon averaged $4.72 a pound in April 2020, and is now $5.11.
  • A loaf of bread averaged $2.44 a loaf last year.... it’s now $2.66.

Shortages ease, but not prices

So from the “doesn’t that stink” file, why do prices keep going up, even though product shortages have ended?

One reason is fuel: If you have you seen gas prices lately, you’ll understand.

Shipping those goods is more expensive.

Prices to make packaging are up, too. In addition, meat processing plants are still dealing with worker shortages.

So that stinks.

The one bit of good news: Grocery shelves are more stocked now than they’ve in the past 14 months.