Get the $14 Sweetgreen Salad. It Can Be Cheaper Than Grocery

Not just you: Food prices are out of this world.

I just moved from Washington, DC, to Brooklyn, where a recent run to Key Foods for groceries for lunch for five days cost me over $60 (including $7.55 for three bell peppers) .

As I agonize over my card, I think about the age-old wisdom of packing a lunch at work instead of dropping $14 at Sweetgreen. At this rate of inflation, it really doesn’t make much of a difference – especially counting the time I spent at the kitchen counter chopping vegetables (with AC power off, to save on utilities as you guessed it was). inflationary).

Letting restaurants cook meals at home has long been heralded as an easy and reliable way to cut costs, but record inflation – the highest level since the early 1980s – is threatening consumption. that standard.

Grocery and restaurant prices increased by 13.1% and 7.6%, respectively, year-on-year, according to Consumer Price Index July 2022 of the Ministry of Labor. That 5.5% difference is the largest inflation gap that has existed between grocery stores and restaurants since 1979, the The Wall Street JournalHeather Haddon’s note, part of the biggest food inflation we’ve seen since the 1980s.

Grocery shoppers and restaurant executives are fiercely arguing about whether it’s more economical to eat out or to eat out these days. Turns out, both were correct.

While dining out — for the most part — still sets you back even further (especially when it comes to tipping, giant markand gas to and from restaurants), which is the grocery store where consumers are more likely to spend more than usual. With grocery inflation higher than restaurant inflation, food prices are now down relative to what they used to be.

That is largely due to the incentives on hand. As Haddon pointed out, both Wendy’s and Burger King have been running ads for $5 meals this year, while IHOP and Applebee’s are offering deals like $1 shrimp and free kids’ breakfasts . On the other hand, “there is no question that menu prices are higher than ever” at several high-end restaurants owned by Union Square Hospitality Group, founder Danny Meyer. said last week.

The cost for a bag of chips is not what it used to be

Food prices have skyrocketed globally since then Russia’s February Invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters. Supply has resumed in most categories, but the area as a whole has yet to meet pre-invasion levels.

Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at research firm Capital Economics, said the prices of raw materials such as flour or coffee grounds that consumers buy at grocery stores rather than restaurants have higher. the Magazine.

Consider that the cost of a 13-ounce bag of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips has increased 38% from $3.55 to $4.90 between June 2021 and June 2022, according to the data that Datasembly provided to Luck. And the average price of a 16-pack of Kraft Singles American Cheese Slices has increased by nearly 15%.

The affordable restaurant chains that are offering deals are seizing the inflated prices as an opportunity to attract new customers: the wealthier ones who frequent the more upscale spots. Earlier this spring, sales at Applebee’s and IHOP among households with incomes over $75,000 per year jumped from 6% to 8%, parent company CEO John Peyton, told analysts last week.

Young, rural households are hardest hit by commodity prices

Rural shoppers, low-income workers and young people feel the heaviest burden from more expensive groceries, Luck’S Megan Leonhardt reports.

It’s a bigger struggle for Gen Z, every recent Detailed information about Consumer Food report from Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability. Nearly a third of Generation Z households said they were looking for groceries from a grocery store, church or other charity in the past 30 days; compared to 8% of boomer-headed households.

That statistic is consistent with the fact that younger Americans generally earn less, Jayson Lusk, head of agricultural economics at Purdue, told Leonhardt. “Food inflation is outpacing wage growth and it’s hitting the lowest-income people hardest.”

But many young people and those with high incomes still feel that cooking at home is more cost-effective in the long run, even if their income levels don’t last as long as they used to.

They are First pull back to eat out amid inflation – despite the fact that the cost of food consumed away from home has increased more slowly than for other goods, according to one Morning Consult’s survey.

It found that 64% of US adults said they were “very concerned” about the impact of inflation on their household finances. Because restaurant meals are often seen as “discretionary,” as the survey says, they’re often the first to go.

Any way you cut back, food prices are not a bargain.

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