Sector News

April brings a shake up in food price indexes: CPI report

May 14, 2019
Consumer Packaged Goods

After five straight months of increases, the food price index declined by 0.1% in April.

Food at home
Five of the six grocery store food group indexes declined last month, lowering the food at home price index down by 0.5%.

The most significant decrease in the category was in the fruits and vegetables and nonalcoholic beverages indexes, both of which fell by 0.9%. These sharp declines came immediately following March’s spike in fruits and vegetables prices when the group’s index rose 1.6%. Dairy and related products were the only prices that increased in April — this is the third month in a row the index for that group has increased.

  • Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs: -0.2%
  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.1%
  • Dairy and related products: +0.1%
  • Fruits and vegetables: -0.9%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.9%
  • Other food from home: -0.6%

Over the past 12 months, the price index for food at home ticked up by 0.7%. The most significant price index changes in that time frame were the indexes fruits and vegetables (+2.2%), nonalcoholic beverages (+2.2%), and meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (-1.1%).

Food away from home
The index for food away from home followed its upward trajectory, this time increasing by 0.3%.

  • Limited service meals: +0.3%
  • Full service meals: +0.4%

Small monthly increases in the food away from home category have been unrelenting, bringing the 12-month unadjusted change to +3.1% — the biggest 12-month increase since February 2015.

Overall, the food price index has risen 1.8% over the past year.

By Hilary Smith

Source: Food Industry Executive

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