When you hit the checkout at your local grocer, you may have noticed that your total has slowly been creeping up and that’s, in part, thanks to mother nature.
A series of droughts, the harsh winter, and a deadly pig-plaguing virus have created the perfect storm to drive up prices. Produce production took a big hit, which trickles down to the cattle that it feeds. So that filet and rib eye are now going to cost you more.
How much? The U.S.D.A. says beef prices are already up 11% since this time last year, and are expected to climb another 5.5 to 6.5% and pork isn’t far behind, up 9.4% and predicted to grow 3 to 4% more.
Vegetarians have it a bit easier. Produce has only jumped 3% since last year, but the U.S.D.A. warns that could change. A drought in California, a state responsible for growing about half the fruits and vegetables in our nation, is expected to drive up prices, and that could extend to dairy and eggs as well.
The one bright spot is non-perishables. Those inside aisle products are seeing lower than average inflation.
For the consumer, it all adds up to a 2.5 to 3.5% bump in their food costs for the year.
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