Latest Data Reveals How Much The Price Of Potatoes Has Increased

If you've paid attention to the news over the past few months — or even if you just shop for food regularly, as most people do — then you've no doubt noticed that factors such as the pandemic, supply chain issues, and labor disputes have been causing record inflation that's driving up the price of many of our favorite foods. According to Bloomberg, inflation in the U.S. has reached its highest point in forty years, a development reflected in sky-high prices on staple grocery items such as bread — which now costs up to $10 a loaf in some locations — as well as eggs, bacon, and milk. The outlet notes that in times of inflation, consumers typically cut back on non-essentials, calling out subscription services like Netflix and Peloton, which is something data shows Americans are doing now — but they're also changing their behaviors at the grocery store.

According to recent NielsenIQ data, shoppers are spending less on grocery basics in addition to packaged foods like soda, juice, and beef jerky. With the way things are going, will the typically cheap staple, potatoes, soon be added to Americans' no-shop list?

The price of potatoes is rising

Usually affordably priced, potatoes are a popular option for bulking out meals even if you're on a budget — or at least, they have been.

Tasting Table compared data for the price of potatoes from February 2019 to June 2022 sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS Consumer Price Index measures the average change over time of staple consumer goods in major U.S. cities, including utilities, gasoline, and food. As shown by the data, the average price per pound of white potatoes was about $0.75 back in February 2019. By April 2020, that price increased a full $0.10 to $0.85 a pound, a 13% increase. After dipping back down slightly throughout much of last year, potato prices started climbing again in early 2022. As of this June, the average price of white potatoes had climbed to a hefty $0.89 per pound. That is a 15.86% increase over June of last year and a 19.9% increase from June 2020.

Considering the amount of potatoes needed to produce a potato salad to serve six people still costs less than $2, potato prices are likely still within reach for most consumers, but we're willing to bet people are still surprised by the total when they reach the checkout. While an additional $0.28 per meal may not seem like a lot, as the prices of other grocery store staples also continue to increase the numbers do add up.