This year, price inflation has been the overarching factor for grocery shoppers, in both fresh food and center store departments.
Though the Consumer Price Index let up slightly in July, that wasn’t the case for grocery. July’s food-at-home index surged by 13.1% year over year, vaulting the 12.2% increase in June and representing the biggest 12-month gain since the period through March 1979, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The food-at-home CPI has climbed steadily on an annual basis since the start of the year, rising 11.9% for May, 10.8% for April, 10% for March, 8.6% for February and 7.4% for January.
The month-to-month rise in the food-at-home index remained steep in 2022, up 1.1% in July after gains of 1% in June, 1.4% in May, 0.9% in April, 1.5% in March, 1.4% in February and 1% in January. The latter increase came after only a 0.4% uptick in December.
All six major grocery store food groups — cereals and bakery products; meat, poultry, fish and eggs; dairy and related products; fruit and vegetables; nonalcoholic beverages; and other food-at-home — saw prices climb in July, BLS reported.
Still, distinct trends have emerged in fresh and center-store categories, especially as consumers’ embrace of food-at-home has lingered as the pandemic has receded.
The annual SN Category Guide gives a snapshot of fresh food and center store product sales in 2022 versus a year ago, based on multi-outlet market data from IRI, NielsenIQ and IDDBA. Fresh Categories include produce, dairy, meat and seafood, bakery and deli. Center Store Categories include shelf-stable groceries, frozen foods, nonfood and HBC, snacks and beverages. We also highlight the top product categories by sales, as well as gainers and decliners.