Cost of Eating at Home Records Highest 12-Month Increase in 43 Years as Prices Spike for All Grocery Categories

Craig Bannister | September 13, 2022 | 11:54am EDT
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(Getty Images/Robyn Beck)

The cost of eating at home is getting much pricier, and not just compared to other consumer products, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, and an unadjusted 8.3% over the last 12 months.

But, the increase in the food index far outpaced that of overall CPI, rising 0.8% over the month, as the cost of eating food at home index rose 0.7%. Over the last year, the overall food index rose 11.4% - the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979.

The food at home index also recorded the greatest 12-month jump in 43 years, surging 13.5%, the largest increase since March 1979.

The index for every specific food at home product group rose by more than nine percent over the year, with increases ranging from 9.4% for fruits and vegetables to 16.2% for dairy and related products. All “other” food at home products rose a combined 16.7% over the last 12 months.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

“While Biden and Democrats take an out-of-touch victory lap today, Americans struggle to fill their grocery carts,“ Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Tuesday, in a statement reacting to the August inflation numbers. McDaniel blamed high prices on the Biden Administration's “reckless spending.“

Compared to July, the seasonally adjusted food at home index rose 0.7% in August, as all major grocery store food group indexes increased:

  • Cereals and bakery products rose 1.2%,
  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index rose 0.5%
  • Fruits and vegetables rose 0.5%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages increased 0.5%
  • Dairy and related products increased 0.3%
  • The index for other food at home products was up 1.1%.

The index for food away from home rose 8.0% over the last year, as full service meals rose 9.0% over the last 12 months, and the index for limited service meals rose 7.2% over the last year.

Compared to July, the food away from home index rose 0.9% in August. The index increased 0.8% for full service meals and 0.7% for limited service meals over the month.

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