Food for thought: changes in consumer prices for food at home and away from home

August 15, 2019

Whether you are cooking at home or eating out, keeping an eye on food prices helps us maintain our household budget. For the year ended July 2019, prices for food at home increased 0.6 percent, while prices for food away from home increased 3.2 percent. This compared with an increase of 1.8 percent for all items over that period.

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, 12-month percent change, selected food items, July 2019

Expenditure category

Percent change

All items

1.8%

Food at home

0.6

Lettuce

14.2

Baby food

5.5

Potatoes

4.5

Candy and chewing gum

3.6

Apples

3.5

Fresh cakes and cupcakes

3.2

Milk

3.2

Canned vegetables

3.1

Bread other than white

3.0

Pork

2.7

Fresh sweetrolls, coffeecakes, doughnuts

2.4

Frozen fish and seafood

2.4

Breakfast cereal

2.0

Canned fruits

1.9

Cookies

1.8

White bread

1.7

Crackers, bread, and cracker products

1.7

Fresh fish and seafood

1.4

Sugar and sugar substitutes

1.1

Bananas

-1.6

Snacks

-1.6

Chicken

-1.7

Tomatoes

-1.7

Dried beans, peas, and lentils

-3.3

Oranges, including tangerines

-6.8

Eggs

-14.1

Food away from home

3.2

Food from vending machines and mobile vendors

4.7

Full service meals and snacks

3.2

Limited service meals and snacks

3.2

Other food away from home

2.0

Food at employee sites and schools

1.4

Lettuce prices rose 14.2 percent from July 2018 to July 2019. Prices for baby food, potatoes, candy and chewing gum, apples, fresh cakes and cupcakes, milk, canned vegetables, and bread other than white increased at least 3 percent. Egg prices fell 14.1 percent over the year. Prices for oranges (including tangerines) fell 6.8 percent, while prices for dried beans, peas, and lentils decreased 3.3 percent.

As for food away from home, prices for both full- and limited-service meals and snacks increased 3.2 percent for the year ended July 2019. Over that period, prices for food from vending machines and mobile vendors increased 4.7 percent.

These data are from the Consumer Price Index program and are not seasonally adjusted. For more information, see "Consumer Price Index — July 2019." Also see Charts related to the latest "U.S. Consumer Price Index" news release.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Food for thought: changes in consumer prices for food at home and away from home on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/food-for-thought-changes-in-consumer-prices-for-food-at-home-and-away-from-home.htm (visited September 17, 2019).

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