Americans today pay an average of 19.1% more on grocery items than they did 10 years ago. Over the same time, the inflation rate was just 16.3%.
Several key factors generally affect food prices in the long run. High oil prices increase the cost of shipping; droughts and floods cause shortages of certain crops; and a growing appetite for more expensive food from an increasingly affluent world population drives up overall demand — and prices — of food.
In the short run, the supply and demand of food is subject to factors such as weather, disease outbreak, and changing consumer preferences. In recent years, the California drought, the 2015 avian flu outbreak, and an increasing appetite for higher priced items such as organic foods in the United States and meat and dairy products in developing countries have caused some goods to appreciate in price far faster than most food items.
To determine the groceries driving up food bills the most, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed changes in the consumer price index from 2008 to 2018 for over 300 goods using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The prices of 20 grocery items increased by at least 24% over the last 10 years.