Why Food Prices Are On The Rise

By Connor Touhey | February 24, 2022

If you've gone grocery shopping anytime recently, you may have noticed that the prices of the foods you're buying have been on the rise. This is a truth that many of us have had to face. Cheap, reliable, and full of selections, grocery stores in America are places that have become a reality for us. The average grocery store in America has 40-70 thousand– that's right– thousand selections of different food items. Such an abundance at such low prices is a trend that we have been accustomed to in the recent past. Because of this complacency that many of us are guilty of indulging in, when disruptions to this delicate food system occur, we see the effects on the prices of the goods we want to buy. It is for this reason that we are now seeing these steep increases in food prices. Between April 2020 and December 2021, the global price of soybeans went up by 52%, and the price of wheat soared to 80% higher than it previously was. This past December alone, we saw an average increase of 6.83% for all of our food goods, with meat, poultry, fish, and eggs jumping up a whopping 12.5%. Why did this happen? What caused the market to suddenly change so much? Well, as we know, the food industry is massive and has many working parts, but there are a few big influences that have had the most impact. For starters, the Covid Pandemic caused a massive increase in demand for food, causing food producers to scramble to keep up with demand, shifting the balance of supply and demand that had previously been in place. When this shift is combined with other factors such as increasing fuel and energy prices, a shortage of truck drivers, rising inflation rates, higher frequency of droughts, and bad weather in food-producing regions, it is easy to see why the prices for food are rising so quickly. So what can be done about this? From a consumer's perspective, it's hard to say. Most of these factors are related to things out of our control. However, if we are diligent with our purchases, look for deals, and use coupons, we should be able to wait out the storm.

Edited by Maggie Reddington