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Thoughts in Charts: The Price of Pie

Back in May, I posted “Thoughts in Charts: The Price of Food” which explored food inflation as a portion of the changes in prices we see in our daily lives. This chart from The Wall Street Journal article “Thanksgiving in a Pandemic Means Smaller Birds, Fewer Leftovers,” puts a Thanksgiving spin on the issue. It reports that the typical price of a Thanksgiving meal will be 3.5% higher this year than last.

Curious, I went back to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to check on the 12-Month “food at home” category. It turns out that the increase in food prices has actually fallen slightly in the last few months. The food at home year-over year increase peaked at 5.6% in June, and is now down slightly at about 4% as of the end of October.

Economics 101 reminds us that an increase in demand on limited resources increases prices. The Wall Street Journal article reports that grocery stores are stocking Thanksgiving food early this year due to concerns about high demand. With food suppliers already struggling to keep up with demand, there is little incentive for food items to be discounted this season.

In true ThirtyNorth fashion, I’m always challenged to think about money and meaning. With food making up a large portion of most people’s monthly budgets, the charts remind me that donations to charity holiday food drives are even more valuable this year.

Just a little “food for thought” – if you will.

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