Food prices rose significantly for the month of September, with food at home rising 1.2%. Meat prices rose 3.3% just in September and increased 12.6% year-over-year, according to CNBC.
The all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of economy-wide inflation, increased by 0.3% from August 2021 to September 2021 before seasonal adjustment, up 5.4% from September 2020. The CPI for all food increased 0.8% from August 2021 to September 2021, and food prices were 4.6% higher than in September 2020.
Food producers are dealing with shortages and bottlenecks, and transportation, weather, and labor problems, causing food prices to rise, The Washington Post reported.
Products in the center aisles of the grocery store, such as canned goods, snacks, and cereals, tend to require multiple ingredients, often sourced from around the world. Extreme weather, labor problems, and shortages are leading to "deeper and longer-running disruptions" than even last year, reported the Post.
As a result, "nearly every component of the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, will cost more this year," according to agricultural economists, farmers, and grocery executives, The New York Times reported. Major food companies like Nestlé and Procter & Gamble say there will be more price increases.
Turkey prices are likely to hit record highs, and the cost of many foods has jumped sharply.
Whole frozen turkeys between eight and 16 pounds cost 25 cents a pound more than they did a year ago, the Times noted. Turkeys that are fresh, organic, or free-range are much more expensive than a frozen bird.
Packaged dinner rolls will be more expensive because the cost of almost all of the ingredients that commercial bakers use has gone up. Canned cranberry sauce will cost more because steel prices have remained more than 200% higher than they were before the pandemic.
Shipping delays from Asia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic have raised expenses and prices, too.
"All of these dynamics are not theoretical," Katheryn Russ, a professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, told the Times. "We can’t lose sight of how these broader issues hit home."
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