It’s No Wonder Many Grocery Store Staples Are So Expensive Right Now

Prices on many grocery store items have been leveling off despite decreasing inflation. The ongoing war in Ukraine, severe weather, agricultural diseases, and supply-chain issues have contributed to the high supermarket prices.

Based on the latest Consumer Price Index report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Jan. 12, food prices increased 10.4% from December 2021 to December 2022. American households are now spending $72 more on groceries than last year, according to Moody’s Analytics.

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Despite increasing slower, supermarket prices still outpace inflation, which was 6.5% in December. Barro, an economist at Rice University, says prices are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.

“I think the best we can hope for right now is that price increases will stop or stabilize at a much lower level,” Barro told KTRK in Houston.

Shopping at the supermarket can be a bit of a sticker shock with the following items.


You probably noticed eggs have been more expensive in supermarkets in the past month. The Consumer Price Index shows the cost of a dozen eggs skyrocketed by 60% between December 2021 and December 2022. There have been tens of millions of egg-laying hens killed by an ongoing bird flu epidemic.

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Nearly half of the country’s romaine and iceberg lettuce comes from Salinas Valley, ravaged by impatiens necrotic spot virus, carried by tiny insects called thrips. There have been reports of lettuce growers losing up to 80% of their crop due to the bug.


According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, butter averaged $4.81 a pound in December, up from $3.47 a year earlier.  There is a shortage of labor, supply chain disruptions, and rising animal feed prices. Cows also suffer heat stress and produce less milk during droughts and record-high temperatures.