American consumers are seeing food prices rise at the fastest rate in decades. Supply chain snarls, labor shortages and climate challenges (plus the conflict in Ukraine) share the blame.
To understand what’s driving the nation’s largest increase in food prices in 40 years, just take a close look at your all-American cheeseburger.
Whether it’s a humble bun and patty, or piled high with fixings, the rising cost of each ingredient is the product of a range of economic forces and geopolitical conditions that are disrupting how our food gets from the farm to our tables. They include interrupted supply chains, dire labor shortages, climate disasters and, most recently, the war in Ukraine.
The March Consumer Price Index report showed that the prices for food both consumed at home and away from the home (i.e. at restaurants) saw the largest 12-month increases since 1981. Those rising prices are inflicting pain across the board: from farmers paying higher production costs; to families buying groceries; to the Biden administration, which has seen its popularity sink as inflation hits historic highs.