The grips of the pandemic might have eased up a little, but there’s yet another worrisome global trend on the horizon — a steep rise in food prices!
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Americans spend 27% more on food than they did just five years ago.
Indeed, the Food Price Index recorded a sharp increase over the past year alone, influencing all spheres of life; even food delivery services such as Freshly meal subscription, for instance.
That said, there are several foods that are affected in particular, namely:
- fresh fruit
- sunflower oil
The root cause of this worrisome trend? The recent food shortage caused by a shift in demand, as well as changing weather conditions.
- The recent droughts in South America affected coffee varieties, soybeans, and sugar; in other words, the combined sugar production of Brazil and Thailand is about 15 million tonnes short.
- China has an increasing demand for soybeans and corn for pig food, which is bad news for all those using them as vegetarian and vegan protein sources.
- Higher transportation, processing, packaging, and refrigeration costs.
- The rising demand for so-called “comfort foods”; namely, meats like pork and beef.
Overall, there has been a marked lack of supplies in other sectors in the US as well, including plastics and a lumber shortage too.
As a result, the price rates skyrocketed, for example:
- Corn prices jumped 90% in the past 12 months
- Sugar prices rose 20%
- The price of bacon increased by 13%, and so on
To make matters worse, all types of diets are affected by this change in prices; no one was spared. In addition, there’s no way of knowing whether this is all the consequence of the COVID-19 crisis or the start of prolonged food inflation caused by changing weather conditions.