2020 food prices forecast mostly steady

Consumer food budgets should be mostly unaffected next year.

The USDA is forecasting a modest half to 1.5 percent increase in at-home food prices, potentially the fifth year of lower than average inflating prices.

Economist Gianna Short says 2019 prices were also up about one percent from last year partly because “A lot of the big retailers compete on price and its not in their interest to have large price fluctuations,” she says.

She says fats and oils and processed fruits and vegetables could see lower prices next year while beef and veal, other meats, poultry, fish and seafood, fresh vegetables, sugars and sweets, nonalcoholic beverages, and other foods could see increases, but still below the 20-year historical average.

Pork, dairy products, fresh fruits, and cereal and bakery products are expected to increase in ranges within historical averages.

Food-away-from-home prices are expected to continue to increase between two and three percent again in 2020.

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