So, How High are Food Prices Compared to a Year Ago?

We have all been feeling the pain of higher grocery prices lately. High price culprits range from higher transportation costs due to higher energy prices, to wildfires damaging avocado crops.
My husband read my rant about egg prices yesterday while he was at work and graciously brought me a trade magazine* that has price comparison (Week of Nov 9 to same week a year ago) for a few food items. Here are some interesting finds:

  1. Block of cheddar cheese is up 28% from last year.
  2. Eggs are up 100% from a year ago.
  3. Beef and Pork were in general lower than a year ago, whereas chicken meat prices were up at least 25% from a year ago.
  4. For the frugal dairy choice, Non Fat Dry milk, price is up almost 100% from last year but trend is edging to lower prices.

We are not the only ones feeling the crunch, of course. The magazine is peppered with headlines about lower income reported in the third quarter for major food companies such as Kraft Foods, Dean Foods and Sara Lee. So, as much as we like to complain about how these companies are passing down higher cost to their customers, it seems they are taking quite a bit of the hit as well.
I really don’t see any relief in sight. Higher energy prices are not budging down and it seems that categories in our budget that seemed flexible and where people could work the most to lower their expenses (Food and Gas) have become rather inflexible and becoming a larger percentage of where our spendable income goes to.

* Source Food Business News for November 13th, 2007