The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its food price outlook for 2022, predicting the cost of groceries will continue to rise.
New federal forecasts also show the average cost of gas will stay high or may even rise, CNN reported.
According to Newsy, consumers could be spending up to 4% more for food by the end of the year.
The USDA says grocery and supermarket food prices are already 8.6% higher now than they were a year ago.
Dairy prices are expected to increase between 4% and 5% while the cost of poultry could go up by 7%.
The USDA also predicts restaurant prices to increase by at least 5%.
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According to CNN, China’s new COVID-19 lockdowns are also making it hard for supply chains to recover from the pandemic.
Oil prices dipped a bit this week after Russia said it would ease up its assault on parts of Ukraine, but White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said, “No one should be fooled by Russia’s announcement.”
“It’s called rockets and feathers, meaning when the price goes up, price per barrel, that means your gas stations prices go up like a rocket. When the price goes down per barrel, the gas station prices come down like a feather,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.
6 grocery items that experts say will get more expensive in 2022
Climbing food costs
The pandemic might have stopped us from traveling or hanging out in large groups, but we still have to eat. And thanks to the coronavirus, that could be getting more expensive.
According to the health and wellness site Eat This, Not That, supply chain issues, labor shortages and overall high demand across the country have been said to contribute to an impending consumer price hike.
To help consumers better prepare, the site found six staple foods that will see a price increase in 2022.
CNBC reported that beef and veal prices have risen by 20.1% during the past year. It suggested the pandemic caused a major slowdown in beef production that extends to all types of meat, including seafood and pork.
President Joe Biden has met virtually with independent farmers and ranchers to discuss initiatives to reduce food prices by increasing competition within the meat industry.
The “consumer demand for meat and poultry products has never been higher,” Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the Meat Institute, said in a December press release. “Members of the Meat Institute are producing more meat than ever before under extraordinary circumstances to keep our farm economy moving and to put food on American’s tables.”
Chicken prices also increased during the pandemic, although not as much as steak.
In a December 2021 news release, National Chicken Council president Mike Brown addressed the reason behind chicken’s increased price. “A 9 percent year over year price increase for chicken is barely outpacing inflation … on top of a labor shortage,” he said. “It’s Economics 101.”
When you throw in truck driver shortages and shipping delays, Eat This, Not That wrote, it’s a safe bet that chicken prices will continue to climb.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Kraft Heinz Co. is set to tell “customers that it would raise prices across many of its products … with some items going up as much as 20%.” Shoppers should be prepared since the price of mayo is set to change very soon, Eat This, Not That wrote.
In November, CNN reported egg prices had increased 11.6% over the previous year.
“We’ve chosen to increase our prices for the time being. We recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone, and higher grocery bills can only contribute to that,” organic egg company Pete and Gerry’s said when addressing its price increase. “In the egg world, the cost of high-quality organic ingredients for our hens’ supplemental feed has reached an all-time high.”
The company noted that it was led “to make some difficult decisions” because of the pandemic’s strain on operations, which is still going on.
The price of a box of cereal was 5% higher in the fall of 2021 than in fall 2020. CNN reported that in a letter to a wholesale supplier, General Mills stated it will raise prices on a number of items, including “Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charm’s, Wheaties, Reese’s Puffs, Trix and more.”
The price hike is expected sometime this month.
“Potatoes, celery and other heavier vegetables will have higher price tags next year in part because of higher freight costs,” the Wall Street Journal reported in December.
The reason for increases, Mashable explained, is because the COVID-related issues other companies are facing are “still wreaking havoc on the food industry” and will for a while.