Did you feel the sticker shock as you filled your shopping cart?

October’s reading of the consumer price index just adds a bit of indigestion to what we already know. The jump in food prices is staggering.

Inland Empire Groceries lead the pack by four counties, costing 13.3% more in a year. In Los Angeles and Orange counties, food inflation rose 10.8%. Groceries nationwide were 12.4% more expensive in the last year.

Southern Californians, did you get a 6% hike this summer?

This is a growth story. And not a good one. Especially when food inflation far exceeds the 6% average increases for Southern California workers achieved during the past year.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, food inflation has averaged 10.8% this year compared to 4.3% annually in 2019-2021. In LA-OC, it’s 10.9% this year versus 2.8% the previous three years.

In every meal

It’s not just a few skyrocketing prices. Harsh food inflation can be seen in every aisle.

My trusty spreadsheet looked at the biggest nationwide jumps in individual food categories. You could create an entire day’s menu plan using these sky-high cost items.

Breakfast: Eggs (+43% in 12 months), butter (+27%), cereals (+17%), coffee (+15%) and milk (+14.5%).

The lunch: Bread (+15%), soups (+17%), cured meats (+19%), frankfurters (+15%) and snacks (+14%).

Dinner: Chicken (+14.5%), rice-pasta-cornmeal (+17%), canned fruit and vegetables (+19%) and potatoes (+15%).

Salad: Lettuce (+18%), Salad Dressings (+20%) and Olives-Pickles-Condiments (+17.5%).

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