Feel like you’ve been paying more for every item you can find in your local food store during this Cornoavirus Pandemic? You’re right and now reports are coming out to prove it.
The food at home index, compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics rose 2.7% in April compared to March 2020, its sharpest one-month climb since February 1974. Prices in April are up 4.1% compared to April 2019. Prices are up pretty much in every category, according to the bureau. Examples include:
- Poultry, meat and fish — up 4.5% in April compared to March
- Cereal, baked goods and non-alcoholic beverages — up 2.7% in April compared to March
Demand has soared as people eat at home more than they ever did before the virus struck and supplies dwindle as processing plants close because of sick employees. Imported food supplies likely also are down. And we’ve yet to hear about deliveries breaking down because of sick truckers, expect some of that as this goes on too.
Don’t expect the price picture to brighten anytime soon. People who are filling their shopping carts to the brim every time they go to a store likely are wasting a lot of that food because they aren’t accustomed to planning meals to use everything before it goes bad. So they’ll likely be back in stores making the same mistakes all over again and keeping demand for everything high — along with prices.