DROUGHT IMPACT: Family of four will spend $6.75 more weekly in 2013

Articles
September 06, 2012

DROUGHT IMPACT: Family of four will spend $6.75 more weekly in 2013

The Food Institute reports this week that somewhat surprising to many in the industry was USDA's latest food price projections for 2013, which remained unchanged from prior levels, indicating prices for food-at-home will increase as much as 4.0% next year with food away-from-home prices projected to rise as much as 3.5%.

The Food Institute reports this week that somewhat surprising to many in the industry was USDA’s latest food price projections for 2013, which remained unchanged from prior levels, indicating prices for food-at-home will increase as much as 4.0% next year with food away-from-home prices projected to rise as much as 3.5%. FOOD  INSTITUTE members can find the complete breakdown by category by visiting its website.

Taking those projections from USDA, The Food Institute has predicted what the cost to U.S. consumers will be in 2013 by utilizing data from its recently released Demographics of Food Spending publication which breaks down data from the BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS each year. 

To make things simpler, The Food Institute used the higher end of the USDA projections, showing what could be considered a “worst case” scenario. Although if USDA projections are raised in future month, a “more worse” scenario would prevail.

For a family of four, that translates into $351.12 more in food spending in 2013 – approximately $6.75 a week. And although the numbers do not tally because of the various ranges in products, The Food Institute projects food-at-home spending will increase about $4.00 a week and away-from-home spending by about $2.50 – only slightly more than the 2.5% to 3.5% increase projected for 2012.

The Institute’s breakdown by department shows most of increase will be spent at meat counters where annual costs are seen rising about $44 a year for a family of four and about $30 for two person households. Higher beef costs will account for nearly one-third of that increase.

Higher fresh produce prices will add another $23.44 to a family’s grocery bill next year, but processed fruit and vegetable expenditures would go up only about $11. Canners and freezers may take note of this opportunity to promote their products.

And for those families eating away-from-home, two-person households will be spending an average $86.73 more next year with a family of four spending another $125.

But as is always the case with food products, these expenditure numbers could vary as substitutions are made in one category or another such as consumers spending more on canned and frozen products to offset higher prices for fresh or buying poultry instead of higher-priced beef.

Stay tuned to The Food Institute in future months as the impact of this year’s drought becomes more clear.