Higher fuel prices, crop damage and a global grain shortage all mean higher food prices are ahead.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts retail food prices will rise 3.5 percent in the U.S. this year. But a sharp jump in wholesale food prices reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics could be a sign of a much larger increase in retail prices.
Arizona Food Marketing Alliance President Tim McCabe tells The Arizona Republic he believes prices could increase between 5 percent and 6 percent this year. The Arizona Food Marketing Alliance is a trade group that represents the state’s grocery chains and other food retailers.
That would rival a 5.5 percent jump in 2008, the largest gain in almost 20 years.