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I-TEAM: Food prices continue to soar, a year into COVID-19 pandemic



AUGUSTA, Ga. – If you’ve noticed your grocery bill growing, you’re not alone.

Sticker shock is a recurring theme for many of us throughout this pandemic. The I-Team looked at new data today to see if inflation will continue this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says, yes, we can expect to see food prices increase throughout 2021.

Comparing today to February 2020, before COVID-19, overall food prices are on average 3.6 percent higher. That includes both grocery store prices and restaurant food prices. Throughout this year both are expected to increase another two percent on average.

So while shopping the aisles, you’re already seeing a dozen eggs and or a pound of ground chuck are both up seven percent. A loaf of bread increased 11 percent in price.

The I-Team found that fresh fruit and vegetables are expected to increase by another one to two percent.

Egg prices could hold flat or increase as much as another three percent. But beef and veal prices are expected to decrease slightly (one to two percent) according to the USDA.

So why is this happening?

The I-Team found that supply shortages in COVID coupled with increasing gas prices, driver shortages, and fewer workers at meatpacking plants and bakeries. Another factor that could’ve affected these prices is bad weather that damaged crops or caused delays like with beef coming out of Texas after their winter storms.

Experts expect the uptick to last another six to 18 months.

So what can you do to save? You can buy in bulk, switch to store brands when possible, and use apps like flip or basket to track sales.