Why Are Grocery and Food Prices Rising?
Grocery and food costs have been on a noticeable rise.
CNN reports that American grocery store prices have risen by 2.6% in April 2020. This is the biggest one month jump since 1974. Egg prices went up 16.1% in April, milk went up by 1.5%, and meat prices went up by 3.3%. But it's not just what people have been panic buying that has been affected, fresh fish prices went up 4.2% and fruit prices jumped up 1.2%. So why are these food and grocery prices rising?
According to CNN, the food supply chain has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As restaurants shut down, people began to cook at home more, making the demand for groceries skyrocket. But because the demand suddenly shifted from restaurants to at-home groceries, farmers and food producers didn't have the time to shift their food deliveries to grocery stores.
The supply chain disruption was made even worse when meatpacking plants had to close after employees became infected with COVID-19, according to CNN. Panic-buying also added to the disruption because grocery stores have put limits on certain purchases. Some grocery stores have also raised prices on high demand items to help curb people from buying. CNN reports that grocery stores have even been putting the rising costs onto customers by raising prices for products as suppliers raise theirs.
Long story short: high demand for food but low supply = higher prices.