Special Report

19 Groceries Driving Up Your Bill the Most During Pandemic

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9. Dried beans, peas, and lentils
> Price increase, February-June 2020: +7.4%
> Priciest month for grocery item since 2010: April 2015

Dried beans, peas, and lentils are one of just nine types of groceries that have increased in price by more than 7% since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S. Americans bought over 200% more dried beans so far in 2020 than they did over the same period in 2019, and this increased demand led to higher prices. Like many of the other groceries on this list, dried beans, peas, and lentils can be stored for long periods of time, and Americans have been more likely to buy these kinds of items during the pandemic.

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8. Peanut butter
> Price increase, February-June 2020: +7.9%
> Priciest month for grocery item since 2010: Jan. 2013

Peanut butter is one of several shelf-stable, non-perishable grocery items that have become significantly more expensive since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States. Through the beginning of 2020, the price of peanut butter had been in decline for seven years. But between February 2020 and June 2020, the price rose by 7.9%.

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7. Ham
> Price increase, February-June 2020: +8.7%
> Priciest month for grocery item since 2010: Oct. 2014

The prices of many groceries on this list spiked because of increased demand, but not all. Some groceries, including many meats like ham, increased in prices because of issues with supply. A number of U.S. meat and poultry plants have closed in recent months because of COVID-19 outbreaks, limiting production, which led to increased prices. Ham was 8.7% more expensive in June than it was in February, nearly double the 4.5% price increase of all foods that are prepared in the home.

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6. Potatoes
> Price increase, February-June 2020: +8.7%
> Priciest month for grocery item since 2010: June 2020

Though potatoes have had the eighth highest price increase of any grocery item since February, the spike in price may not be due to COVID-19. Potato prices ebb and flow with the seasons, typically peaking in August and hitting their lowest point of the year in December. Though potato prices are cyclical, prices over the past decade have increased more than all food item prices during that time. Potatoes were 36.4% more expensive in June 2020 than they were in February 2010, as compared to the 18.9% increase to the typical grocery item.

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5. Frankfurters
> Price increase, February-June 2020: +8.8%
> Priciest month for grocery item since 2010: June 2020

Even before the pandemic reached the United States, Frankfurter prices were rising, increasing in price by 28.2% from February 2010 to February 2020, Well above the comparable 19.3% increase in prices for all grocery items. Like many other meat products, frankfurters were much more expensive in June than they were in February of 2020. Production at a number of meat production plants stalled because of COVID-19 outbreaks.