readers of this blog know that consumers paid higher prices for everything from
cereal to eggs last month, sending retail food price inflation up 0.7% in August
and 13.5% year over year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
months, 13.5% increase was the highest rate for that number since March 1979,
the latest in a string of four-decade highs for retail food price inflation. Prices
are up for basically everything. Over the past year, the price for breakfast
cereal rose 23% and eggs increased nearly 40%.
prices seem relatively tame by comparison. Meats, poultry and fish prices are
up 8.8% over the past year. But poultry prices rose 15.9% as chicken and turkey
producers continue working their way through a springtime rash of Bird Flu.
troubling is the fact that driving much of the increase in grocery prices has
been retailers’ own rising costs for labor and food. Wage rates have soared amid
historic shortages of labor, while those same labor concerns have helped drive
up the cost of many food products. The war in Ukraine and other issues, such as
a shortage of truck drivers, have also contributed to the problem.
food costs for consumers rose 11.4% over the past 12 months in August, the
highest rate since 1979.
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that acceleration is due to sharply higher prices at school lunch programs,
where many states ended free meals to students. Prices at schools and employee
sites are up 23.7% over the past year.
both full-service and limited-service restaurants continue to raise prices.
Full-service restaurants increased prices 0.8% last month, higher than the 0.6%
increase the month before. Limited-service restaurants increased prices 0.7%,
down from the 0.8% they increased prices in July.
full year, full-service restaurants have increased menu prices 9%. Limited-service
restaurants increased charges 7.2%. Overall, inflation rose 0.1% in August. But
on an annual basis, the consumer price index slowed to 8.3% from 8.5% the
previous month. Lower gas prices drove much of that slowdown.
According to a new report titled TouchBistro 2022 Diner Trends Report fund:
1. Of the 2,600 diners surveyed for the report, 68% rank
food quality as the most important factor when deciding where to dine.
Location, customer service and price follow close behind, at 66%, 64% and 62%
2. Eating at local and independent restaurants is also a
priority; 63% of respondents prefer them over chains and franchises.
3. But Gen Z is more likely to be swayed by social media
and Instagram influencers; 39% of respondents in this group say they’ve tried a
new restaurant based solely on the recommendation of an influencer. While
Instagram still reigns supreme, TikTok is on the rise—21% of Gen Zers check out
this platform before dining out.
4. Posting a tempting menu online is definitely a plus
for all generations, as 84% of diners browse the menu ahead of time and 79%
look at a restaurant’s website before they visit.
5. While inflation has jacked up menu prices, higher prices are not necessarily a turnoff.
Forty-five percent of Americans say that menu price increases would only
somewhat affect their decision to visit a restaurant, suggesting that
diners are willing to absorb some price increases to enjoy the food they love.
6. A bad reputation is much more likely to drive a diner
away from a restaurant. And 73% of survey respondents would be deterred by a
negative health inspection rating.
7. Chains are more likely than independent restaurants
to offer loyalty programs, but indies might benefit from this incentive,
according to the report. More than three-quarters (86%) of diners showed
interest in joining a loyalty program if it provided them with access to
discounts and coupons for free items.
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