This Food Has Had The Highest Inflation Rate This Year

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spur mass food shortages and the unfolding Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupts supply chains of global exports, the average home cook is suffering when it's time to go grocery shopping. Even as inflation slows, food prices continue to rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its annual Consumer Price Index Summary, and the results are in: Across the board, food prices are still increasing. Per the report, the "Food at Home" index saw an 11.9% increase in the past year which, according to the BLS, is the largest increase in a 12-month span since the consumer report of April 1979.

A recent report from the USDA predicted food inflation will keep increasing, and the data reported in the BLS Consumer Index supports the idea. In May 2022 alone, per the BLS, the "Food at Home" index saw a 1.4% price increase — that's the fifth consecutive monthly increase of at least 1%. Cereals and bakery items similarly increased by 1.5% in May, after going up 1.1% in April. Considering that, per a recent statement from the President himself, the Biden administration is still working to figure out how to stop (or at least slow) food inflation in the U.S. market, it looks like worried consumers will have to start getting used to it. But, one grocery item in particular saw a substantially higher inflation rate than any other food in supermarket shopping carts this year — and it might surprise you.

Crackin' down on prices

From 2021 to 2022, five of the six main grocery store food indexes (dairy, fruits and vegetables, meat/poultry/fish/eggs, nonalcoholic beverages, cereals/baked goods, and other food at home) saw a price increase of over 10%, per the BLS. The only index that didn't reach a 10% increase was fruits and vegetables. (But, even so, this index still rose by 8.2%.)

In fact, the index that saw the largest increase went up by nearly twice as much: Meat, poultry, and fish rose by a whopping 14.2%. But, far and away, the food with the highest inflation rate this year was: eggs. They might not seem like the most likely candidate for a massive price boom. They're probably not what comes to mind when you think of one of the more expensive grocery items in your local store, but eggs demonstrated a massive 32.2% price increase in 2022. 

News outlet Fox 59 reports that, in addition to political and pandemic-related hurdles, high chicken feed costs and a mass outbreak of bird flu earlier this year have also contributed to product shortages. Home bakers might want to start switching to an egg substitute instead.