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Most Consumers Continue to Expect Rising Food Prices

Most Consumers Continue to Expect Rising Food Prices

Most U.S. consumers surveyed in February 2024 predicted that they would see an increase in food prices over the next 12 months. Sixty-four percent of respondents predict food prices to rise in the next year, and the average predicted increase is 3.7%, according to the February Consumer Food Insights Report.

The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses food spending, consumer satisfaction and values, support of agricultural and food policies, and trust in information sources. Purdue experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S.

Over the same 26 months of the survey, the U.S. observed high food inflation that peaked at 11.3% in 2022. “Even though food inflation has cooled significantly since then, dropping to 2.6% this month, inflation remains positive,” said the report’s lead author, Joseph Balagtas, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue and director of CFDAS. “Consumers, on average, are predicting food price inflation to rise a bit in the coming year.”

Households that spend more money every week on food tend to predict higher future food prices, Bryant noted. “These households may be more aware of food price trends, as they spend more at the grocery store and at restaurants every week,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released its food price outlook for 2024. Similar to current trends, the USDA predicts food-away-from-home prices to increase by 5% and food-at-home prices to increase by only 1.6%.

The Purdue researchers estimate food insecurity at 12.4%, down 0.8 of a percent from January. Food insecurity rates have hovered around 13% since September 2023.

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Photo Credit: usda-regional-food-business-centers

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