July 14, 2021

Wholesale food prices rose sharply in recent months

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.