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Source: USDA news release

The year 2019 was another year of low price inflation at the grocery store. As measured by Consumer Price Index data, average annual food-at-home prices in 2019 were 0.9 percent higher than in 2018.

Most food categories posted modest price index increases of between 0.3 and 2.0 percent. Egg prices decreased the most, falling by 10.0 percent between 2018 and 2019, although eggs represent a small share of total grocery spending.

Fresh fruits, fats and oils, and poultry had modest price decreases.

The price index for fresh vegetables increased the most. Fresh vegetable prices were up 3.8 percent in 2019, mainly because of bad weather in several growing areas.

People are often surprised when fruit and vegetable prices move in different directions as they did in 2019.

This can happen because most production of these crops occurs on highly specialized farms that are located in different areas of the country, such as lettuce farms in Arizona or blueberry farms in Michigan.

Bad weather in Idaho could increase the price of potatoes, but it will have almost no effect on the price of Florida oranges.

This chart appears in the Food Prices and Spending section of the Economic Research Serviceís (ERS) Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.

For ERSís latest food price information and 2020 forecasts, see our Food Price Outlook data product.

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