Fresh produce prices were also up over 2022, but a relatively low +2.4% on a per-pound basis. Fresh fruit prices decreased 3.0% in comparison to February 2022. Vegetable inflation averaged 7.3% in February, which is also down from the 52-week levels.
Food inflation remains extremely high and consumers are feeling the pain. They are making changes to their restaurant engagement as well as their grocery purchases, according to the August IRI survey of primary grocery shoppers.
The height, the widespread nature and the continued acceleration of inflation dominated the headlines in May. Whether in the grocery store, at the pump or at the movies, consumers were paying more.
Inflation not only took the headlines for the Easter holiday, but also dominated everyday spending.
The U.S. consumer price index increased +7.9% for the 12 months ending February 2022. This was the largest 12-month increase since July 1981, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Coronavirus concern levels among primary grocery shoppers have remained mostly flat between September 2021 and January 2022, according to the monthly primary shopper survey series by IRI.
The latest COVID-19 wave has not resulted in the same levels of concern as those early in the pandemic.