Prices trim grocery lists

Michiganders missing meals due to inflation

According to a survey of 3,500 adults, ages 18 and up, conducted by CouponBirds to determine how many have skipped meals entirely or cut down on their food portions due to unaffordable food prices, it was found that overall, 45% of adults in Michigan said they have eaten less food as a result of inflated, unaffordable food prices in 2022 (compared to a national average of 42%). This equates to 3,519,261 people across The Great Lakes State.

While the CouponBirds survey was conducted in July, bloomberg.com had predicted in a March 1 report that American shoppers may start “substituting to other proteins or reducing their overall consumption.” The continued surging price of beef serves as just one example.

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a livestock, dairy and poultry outlook report on July 18, suggesting that beef prices will continue to rise.

“Fed cattle prices in third-quarter 2022 were raised on packer demand but unchanged in 2023,” the USDA report stated.

The prices of feed ingredients have been relatively high the past 2 years, the report states. Of these ingredients, corn has undergone the greatest rise in prices. In May 2021, the no. 2 yellow corn market price in Central Illinois had more than doubled from the 2016-2020 average corn price.

In May 2022, this price was nearly 130 percent more than the 5-year average price. For high-protein soybean meal, the May 2021 market price was 28 percent above the 2016-2020 average, and in May 2022 it was 34 percent above the 5-year average price. For alfalfa hay, the May 2021 farm price was 11 percent above the 5-year average farm price, and in May 2022 it was 40 percent above the 5-year average. Feed is the highest input cost in livestock and poultry production, and rising feed prices have affected producer returns.

Inflation has peaked to a 40-year high, leading to an overall 12% surge in the cost of groceries in the food-at-home sector, as compared to May last year, the survey stated. From May 2021 to May 2022, this includes a 32.2% increase in the price of eggs; a 14.2% increase in meat, poultry, and fish; and an 11.8% increase in dairy products. Alongside an escalating inflation rate and consumer price increases at the fastest pace since 1981, many people’s salaries are not keeping pace with rising costs of living. When it comes to emergency savings and ‘rainy day’ funds, many Americans have found that ‘rainy day’ to be right now, instead of a future financial foresight, due to having to keep households fed, afloat, and secure in a time of economic uncertainty.

A March 1, 2022 Bloomberg report stated that average prices for U.S. beef at grocery stores are at record highs.

For example, boneless sirloin steak in January 2022 was $10.83 a pound in the U.S., which is the most for the month in Bureau of Labor Statistics data going back to 1989.

On May 26, Bloomberg.com also reported that retail whole chickens in the U.S. cost $1.79 per pound in April, the highest price in 15 years of records and about 19% more than their 10-year average.

More than a month earlier, Gro-intelligence.com reported on Mar. 16 that across the U.S. economy, prices of goods and services have been rising at quadruple the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 2% target, and U.S. food price inflation has soared to its highest level in a decade, including chicken. The increase in chicken prices is blamed on a bird flu outbreak that began in Feb.; strong producer margins; higher food prices fueling elevated chicken prices; higher feed prices due to droughts in Brazil, Canada and the U.S. coupled with unprecedented demand from China; beef and pork impacting chicken prices

Gro-intelligence.com concluded its March report, stating:

“Rising feed prices and protein industry prices are fueling a steady increase in year-over-year chicken price changes. These forces, coupled with the highest level of food price inflation in a decade, mean that chicken prices will probably remain elevated into the summer, despite following a year of strong producer margins.”

Inflation of food prices compelling residents to skip meals is not confined to Michigan, according to cherrydigitalcontent.com, which publicized the CouponBirds survey.

When these figures were compared across states, West Virginia had the greatest percentage (75%) of respondents who said they have eaten less due to unaffordable food costs (1,074,435 people when compared against population data). Comparatively, this figure was lowest in South Dakota and Wyoming (22% of respondents respectively).

On July 18, 2022, ABB News, of Los Angeles, (newsabb.com) cited a poll conducted by Golden/TIPP Poll published earlier that month, that indicated more than one in every five Americans are skipping meals to help combat soaring food prices, while the same percentage approximately are going to food banks to supplement their groceries.


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