Some grocery prices are still on the rise

Here are the good groups that saw price hikes in January

Consumers are still spending more at the grocery store, and though inflation has cooled in recent weeks the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) is still showing rising grocery prices

The CPI breaks down the cost of food into two categories – food at home, which accounts for groceries, and food away from home, which includes restaurants, fast food, take out, etc. 

Overall, the price of food at home has gone up 2.6% over the last 12 months. On top of that, the cost of food at home increased 0.4% between December 2023 and January 2024, which is the highest single-month increase in the last year. 

What prices have gone up?

The CPI has six categories under the “food at home” umbrella: cereals and bakery products; meats, poultry, fish, and eggs; dairy and related products; fruits and vegetables; nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials; and other food at home, which consists of fats and oils, sugars and sweets, and other foods. 

As of January 2024, four of the six categories saw price hikes. One category saw a price decline – cereals and bakery products – while one category remained without a price change – meats, poultry, fish and eggs. 

That leaves four categories with price increases. Nonalcoholic drinks took the lead with price hikes, as this category went up 1.2% in January. This is a whole point higher from the previous month, when prices had gone up 0.2%. 

The CPI breaks down the categories even further to get specific about monthly cost changes of individual items. For instance, in the nonalcoholic drinks category, frozen noncarbonated juices and drinks had the biggest price increase at 9.9%. Instant coffee, at 1.8%, came in second, while carbonated drinks and juices saw 1.6% and 1.4% price hikes, respectively. 

Dairy and related products had the lowest price increase at 0.2%. Additionally, the “other food at home” category went up 0.6%, while fruits and vegetables went up 0.4% in January. 

More price increases over 1% in January include spices, seasonings, condiments, and sauces; soups; margarine; sugar and sweets; processed fruits and vegetables; fresh vegetables; tomatoes; lettuce; cheese and related products; eggs; and hotdogs. 

Is it all bad news?

While grocery prices went up overall in January, there were some areas where prices dropped throughout the month. Several categories saw price decreases over 1%, including: 

  • Flour and prepared flour mixes

  • Fresh cakes and cupcakes

  • Crackers, bread, and cracker products

  • Uncooked ground beef

  • Bacon and related products

  • Ham

  • Fish and seafood

  • Fresh whole milk

  • Ice cream and related products

  • Fresh fruits

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