Food-at-home prices are predicted to increase a total of 10 to 11% this year, and then slow to a 2 to 3% increase next year, according to the USDA’s latest Food Price Outlook. Food-away-from-home prices will show a slightly different pattern, increasing 6.5 to 7.5% this year and 3 to 4% in 2023.
Food prices have increased steadily and significantly since the start of the pandemic. In both 2020 and 2021, food-at-home prices increased 3.5%, driven largely by the meat categories. In July of 2022, the food-at-home index increased 1.3% month-over-month, bringing the 12-month increase to 13.1%. This marked the largest yearly increase since March 1979.
The USDA has revised its predictions upward for all food categories, with some categories expecting very high increases. For example, egg prices are predicted to increase between 24.5 and 25.5% for the year.
However, the agency also notes some factors that may reduce food prices, such as decreased costs for agricultural commodities (corn, soy, and wheat prices fell by 8.5%, 11.4%, and 22.7%, respectively, between June and July 2022) and increasing interest rates.