Ask your grandparents, or even your mom and dad, and they’ll tell you that the prices of our favorite foods certainly aren’t the same as what they used to be. A gallon of milk cost $0.50 under Eisenhower! your Gran will yell. And she’s not wrong. In the ’60s, a gallon of milk cost $0.49, a dozen eggs cost $0.57, and you could buy a brand new house for about $16,000. Yeah — times have definitely changed.
We did some digging to see how the prices of our favorite foods have sneakily gone up in the past decade or so, and TBH, you’re going to be a little shocked.
According to a stat from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices in general have spiked 53.3% between 2000 and 2019. This uptick is caused by inflation, agricultural production and consumer demand. In 2019, we’ve seen a slight plateau of food price inflation, however, we’re destined to see prices resume their upward trend by the end of the year as oil prices rise, climate change continues to damage crops, and as the U.S. continues to subsidize corn products for biofuels (just to name a few factors). We talked a bit about these and more factors contributing to the rise of food product prices back in 2018, so feel free to check that out before diving into this unnerving list.
(Note: we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) Average Price Database to attain most of our findings.)
In 2010, a pound of bacon cost $4.53 (with inflation, that’s around $5). However, by 2016, the price of bacon went up to $5.49.
This isn’t even the worst one.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cost of bacon was about $5.55 in April 2019. It’s slowly, but surely, creeping up in price and we don’t like it.
2. Cheddar Cheese
In January of 2018, the BLS reported the average price for a pound of cheddar cheese was about $5.02. And in January of 2019, that price per pound went up to $5.37. Lucky for us, the price of cheddar cheese has dropped about $0.10 since January.
However, the January price was the highest the cost of cheddar cheese has been since April 2016, when it cost $5.39.
In fact, according to USA Today, a growing demand for dairy products and a shortage of dairy cows has led to a 26.7% 10-year price increase of cheese and related products.
This one may be hard to swallow. As reported by the BLS, the average combined price of both red and white liter bottles of wine has gone up about $4 in the past decade.
In January 2009, a liter of wine cost $8.63, and in January 2019, a liter of wine cost $12.01.
No, this steep hike in price will not hinder our buying of wine, but we do believe this is an injustice.
4. Peanut Butter
It’s time to start stockpiling peanut butter, because the price is increasing at an unnerving pace. According to the BLS, a pound of creamy peanut butter cost $1.77 in January 2007.
That’s a lot!
And in January 2017, a pound of creamy peanut butter cost $2.56. Sorry, creamy peanut butter lovers — either switch to chunky or pay up for that creamy goodness.
Potatoes are a kitchen staple vegetable that can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and they’ve been getting increasingly more expensive in the past decade.
We’re okay with this.
In January 2009, the BSL recorded that a pound of white potatoes went for about $0.68. But in January 2019, a pound of white potatoes cost $0.75.
Fortunately, this increase probably won’t break the bank.
As yogurt becomes increasingly more popular among the health-food communities, its price is at a steady creep upward. In April 2018, the BLS reported an 8-ounce tub of yogurt cost an average $1.06.
What is causing this spike?
And in April 2019, that price has gone up a few cents to a $1.09. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a drastic jump, but the price has been steadily increasing for the past year — a trend that is expected to continue.
The price of salted, grade AA butter has fluctuated since the beginning of the 2000s, according to the BLS. However, since 2010, the price per pound of salted butter has steadily increased, starting at $2.78 in January 2010 and slowly creeping up to $3.50 by 2012.
By 2018, USA Today reported a 42.1% increase in the price of butter since 2008.
So although the price of butter has been fluctuating, it’s clearly destined to continue upward.
8. Cakes, Cupcakes, and Cookies
USA Today reports that there has been a 30.5% increase in the price of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies in the past decade. This may have been caused by the rising prices of both flour and butter.
This REALLY adds up.
Insert “Let them eat cake” joke here — side note: did you know that Marie Antoinette didn’t actually say that quote? Educate yourself right here.
Field-grown tomatoes in January 2009 went for an average $1.66 per pound, according to the BLS. But in January 2019, we were shelling out $2.23 per pound of field-grown tomatoes.
Nonna’s famous tomato sauce has gotten a lot more expensive to make in the past decade.
But Nonna’s worth the extra $0.60, if you ask us.
10. Soft Drinks
Soft drinks in April 2018 cost an average $1.44 per two liters, according to the BLS. In April 2019, every two liters of soft drinks cost an average $1.54.
Sigh, the good old days, when you could pay with spare change.
Since 2018, the average cost of soft drinks has only increased, and is likely to stay that way throughout the remainder of the year.
11. Ice Cream
Like butter, the price per half-gallon of ice cream has also fluctuated in the past decade. In December of 2011, a half-gallon cost a whopping $5.25, thankfully dropping to $4.57 by November of 2017.
Ice cream feels more like a need, not a luxury.
However, the price per half-gallon is increasing once more, costing an average $4.82 in April of 2019.
The price of bread has increased a whopping 31.8% in the past 10 years, according to USA Today. And this is despite the falling consumption of wheat-based products in America.
Don’t mess with my carbs.
However, the demand for artisanal breads in the U.S., and the constant demand for bread in Europe has helped bread costs rise throughout the decade.
USA Today reports that there’s been a 32.4% price hike for pasta in the past decade. It’s no surprise that the price went up, seeing as how Americans are in constant demand of the stuff.
Someone’s making money off this deal.
According to USA Today, American consume an average 19.4 pounds of pasta annually — over in Italy, people only consume about 51.8 pounds of pasta per capita each year. Whoops.
14. Beef Steaks
In the past 10 years, the price of uncooked beef steaks in the U.S. has been on an incline. In January 2009, beef steaks cost an average $5.21 per pound — a great deal compared to the whopping $7.50-per-pound price of beef steaks in January 2019.
The price continues to rise, too. As of April 2019, beef steaks cost an average $7.76 per pound.
15. Ground Beef
The price of ground beef is a similar story. According to the BLS, a pound of ground beef went for $3.16 in January of 2009, whereas in January 2019, the price per pound of ground beef jumped to $4.17 — an entire dollar and some change.
This doesn’t seem fair.
However, ground beef reached its peak price per pound within the decade in 2015, when a pound of ground beef cost $4.71 in February.
16. Salt and Seasonings
The gourmet salt market is currently on the rise, says USA Today. Therefore, the price of salt has shot up 36.5% in the past decade. Salt blends, pink Himalayan salt, truffle salt, sea salt — you name it, Americans want it. Gone are the days of households only owning Kosher salt.
The salt revolution is here.
And, like, who doesn’t want to be their own salt bae, right?
Just think — we’re going to become those grandparents who talk about how beef was only $8 per pound. Yikes. That’s a scary thought on so many levels.