Wholesale food prices trended steadily higher during the first half of 2021, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Producer Price Index for All Foods – which represents the change in average prices paid to domestic producers for their output – jumped 2.2% between May and June.

June’s increase followed even stronger gains in April (2.8%) and May (2.5%) – combining to represent the first time in the 54-year history of this data series that the index registered gains above 2% in three consecutive months. In addition, this also marked the first time since 1973 with five straight monthly gains above 1%.

Driven by the recent gains, average wholesale food prices stood 9.6% above their year-ago level in June. This represented the strongest 12-month increase since 2011.

Among the major commodities in the wholesale food price index, fats and oils (42.2%), beef (41.4%), pork (32.7%), processed poultry (27.4%), seafood (18.8%), eggs (16.3%) and flour (12.7%) posted the strongest growth between June 2020 and June 2021.

Read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.