Food Is Getting More Expensive In The US In 2022 

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Inflation hit a new 40-year record in June, and experts pointed out that it will cost more to fill up a grocery cart because more price hike is on the way in the USA.

Why are groceries so expensive in the US?

People are spending 12% more compared to last year to purchase food. The price of poultry went up 12%, the price of meat went up more than16%, and seafood and the fish price went up 10% compared to last year. A continuous increase in the price of Dairy products is mainly responsible for the price hike in food items for most Americans especially the middle class and lower middle class. Canadian dairy commission increased dairy prices by 2.5% twice this year.

A recent survey stated that the cost of food in the USA rising firmly over the last five years.              

Reasons For Food Price Hike In USA

Climate Change

Experts blamed climate change as the main culprit for the increase in food prices. Climate change can be a big threat to global food security. Excessive pollution affects food production. Excessive rain, long-time drought, and floods decrease the normal growth ratio of food production.

Shrinkflation Factor

Also, a practice called “Shrinkflation”  by the food companies caused a rise in food prices. Shrinkflation means decreasing the amount of product while keeping the price the same. Downsizing the product amount by not affecting the price proved to be an effective strategy. The consumer does not bother to pay if a tiny bit of grams decreases in the product packaging.

Pandemic

Pandemic wreaked havoc on the global supply chains of every industry including food. When the cost of food in one category rises e.g. if the price of corn or hay rises then the price of dairy products or meat will automatically rise because it will cost more to feed the livestock corn or hay.If fuel price rises then the transportation cost of food rises.               

Increase In Shipping Rate

An increase in the Container shipping rate is one of the reasons for the uprising in food costs in the USA. In March 2020 shipping rate of a 40-foot box container from China to the United States was $2500, the same service hits high in August 2021, costing $20000 per container.      

Labor Cost

Rising labor costs and shortage of labor in the food industry caused a spike in food prices. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine affected the food industry.

Identifying The Problem

Currently, the US government has two terms to measure the amount of food any American citizens have.

  • Food Insecurity
  • Food Insufficiency.

Food insufficiency is a more severe form of food insecurity.USDA considers a house food insecure when they do have not enough money or resources to feed properly at least one member of the family.

USDA measures food insecurities across the country through an annual survey. According to the survey data provided by the US government around 13.8 million households were considered food insecure in 2020.

Government measures food efficiency more frequently than food insecurity. They started collecting food efficiency data in April 2020. The survey asks people about their last 7 days’ intake of food, if they said that they sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat they are termed as food insufficient. Food insufficiency can harm pregnant mothers, causing malnutrition among the children, and increase mental illness because they can’t able to feed themselves as well as their kids.      

Solution

The government and businesses should have various policies to help those who have been affected by rising food costs.

One approach the government has taken to help those people is by introducing SNAP.SNAP is formerly known as ‘Food Stamp’ is the largest federally run program. This program provides money to food insecure families to eat an adequate amount of healthy food.

To tackle the climate change effect on the food industry we should start harvesting food in new ways by introducing new technologies such as indoor farming. Implementing new technologies can also help to reduce rising labor costs, and supply chain issues.

Incorporating things like AI and Machine Learning can predict outcomes more accurately. We can find what are the problems, and the best solutions and implement them to get the best results.  

Also, consumers should be better shoppers at stores to save more money. Shoppers should rely on trustable local brands rather than losing their penny on big brands.

More: Why Americans Are Eating More Snacks Than Ever

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