Market Overview

Food Prices Soar In May: What You Need To Know

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Food Prices Soar In May: What You Need To Know

Food prices as a whole rose at the fastest pace in 46 years in May, with some categories experiencing double-digit gains.

May 2020 Versus May 2019

Food prices away from home were up 4.8% year-over-year in May. Beef prices were the most impacted in May, up 18.2% year-over-year, Fox Business' Kristina Partsinevelos reported.

The surge is due to disruptions in the supply chain, as several meat processors were forced to go offline. Even though many processors are back online, production is still running behind.

The meats, poultry, fish, and eggs category was up 10%, followed by a 5.7% jump in dairy products. Cereal and flour prices were lower in May, in part due to consumer fatigue.

Consumers may have to deal with elevated grocery costs for some time, and perhaps even double-digit spikes, "The Supermarket Guru" Phil Lempert told Fox Business.

Grocery stores themselves are experiencing higher costs from health and safety upgrades and will pass that on to consumers, he said. 

"We are going to see this year the highest food prices that we've seen in decades." 

Who Benefits

Food companies are the obvious beneficiary from higher prices, along with grocers, CNBC's Sara Eisen reported.

There are signs food prices are near a peak, especially as restaurants re-open and consumers are no longer hoarding as much food as they did a few months ago, Eisen said.

But this could change quickly, especially if there is a "second wave" of infections later on in the year.

Related Links:

Consumers Demand More Savings As Food Prices Skyrocket

Making Sense Of Why Consumers Are Switching Their Grocery Store Habits

 

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