Produce Might Be Even More Expensive In 2022. Here's Why

If you thought food was expensive in 2021, buckle up and start counting your pennies. If reports are to be believed, it is going to be a wild ride at your favorite grocery store, and your grocery bill is going to be even more expensive in 2022.

Your favorite health-conscious produce – your salad makings, veggies, and fruits – are about to come with a heftier price tag. Per, food prices are currently at a 10-year high, and with COVID variant Omicron spreading like wildfire, experts are predicting it is unlikely we will see any drop from these inflationary prices. cited a report titled "Hell in the Handbasket" produced by Dutch bank Rabobank, which noted that "when it comes to agricultural commodity prices, any sense of normalcy looks unlikely, and inflation in this space is almost certainly not just 'temporary.'"

The world seems to concur. According to an analyst interviewed by UK media outlet Food Manufacture, the combination of inflation and rising labor costs could send food prices soaring by at least 5% in the new year. But they are not alone in their predictions. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) interviewed Sylvain Charlebois, the chief researcher on Canada's Food Price Report. Charlebois shared that the price inflation for food could climb up to 7%, which equates to almost an extra $1000 a year for a "typical" family grocery bill. Yikes! But why is this happening?

Supply chain issues are still an issue

According to the Economic Research Service of the USDA, the Consumer Price Index for food-at-home, which the USDA defines as grocery store or supermarket food purchases, "increased 0.3% from October 2021 to November 2021 and was 6.4% higher than November 2020." Drilling down a little deeper to see how your favorite apples, oranges, bell peppers, and onions stack up in these prices, it's worth highlighting that from October 2021 to November 2021, the price of buying fruits directly from the farm increased by 20.1%, while vegetable prices increased 11.5%. 

Why such an increase? Simply put, issues created by COVID are still wreaking havoc on the food industry. explains these dramatic price increases can be linked to supply chain issues, the rising cost farmers face to grow food, and overall demand. This simply means that everything from growing food to transporting food to purchasing food is expensive right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. This also means you might have to make some hard choices when it comes to buying your favorite greens — that is, unless your wallet is filled to the brim with green.