Special Report

20 Groceries Driving Up Your Food Bill the Most During Coronavirus

Source: chokja / Getty Images

20. Sugar and sugar substitutes
> Price increase, Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2020: 0.54%

Between January and February, the price of sugar and sugar substitutes climbed by 0.54% — double the inflation rate across all goods and services. The price of sugar started climbing in December 2019 and is not higher than it has been in over half a decade.

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19. Pet food
> Price increase, Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2020: 0.68%

Pet food prices climbed by about 0.7% between January and February, far faster than the overall inflation rate of about 0.3%. Over the last half decade, the price of pet food has climbed slower than overall inflation. The current rapidly climbing prices of pet food might be a sign of a new trend as demand for pet food is projected to increase in the coming years, and demand is often a driver of inflation.

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18. Rice, pasta, cornmeal
> Price increase, Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2020: 0.72%

Rice, pasta, and cornmeal are one of several shelf-stable food items that have rapidly increased in price relative to overall inflation. Between January and February 2020, the price of rice, pasta, and cornmeal climbed by 0.72%, more than double the price increase across all consumer goods of 0.27%.

17. Carbonated drinks
> Price increase, Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2020: 1.02%

The price of carbonated drinks from grocery stores climbed over 1% between January and February — more than triple the overall inflation rate. The price of carbonated drinks remained relatively level from about 2011 through 2018, when prices began climbing, more closely mirroring overall inflation.

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16. Canned fruits
> Price increase, Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2020: 1.03%

One of the most common explanations for inflation is consumer demand, and as the coronavirus spreads across the United States, many Americans began stocking up on shelf-stable food items — like canned fruits. Between January and February, the price of canned fruit jumped by 1.03%.

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