It's been decades since we Americans have had to worry too much about inflation at the grocery store. Oh, sure, prices go up a bit every year, but now, it seems to be getting serious.
In most of my lifetime the supermarkets have always been full of plenty of food products. We have been SO blessed.
Unfortunately, things are now changing, and not for the better. A massive wave of inflation has hit agricultural commodities, and food producers have felt forced to pass those cost increases along to consumers. Unfortunately, many experts are anticipating that the price hikes that we are currently witnessing are just the beginning.
Invest in emergency food storage now and enjoy peace of mind for the next 25 years. Don't miss out on the savings!
I'm sure you have noticed that your grocery bill is higher each week than it has been previously. But think about it this way: Food prices will never be lower than right now - today!
So what's happening that is causing prices to accelerate now and in the coming months? The following are 5 specific reasons why you should stockpile food right now…
Supermarkets are feverishly stockpiling food, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that they are doing this in anticipation of “the highest price increases in recent memory”…
Supermarkets are stocking up on everything from sugar to frozen meat before they get more pricey, girding for what some executives anticipate will be some of the highest price increases in recent memory.
Some supermarkets said they are buying and storing supplies to keep their shelves full amid stronger demand. Grocery sales in the U.S. for the week ended June 19 rose about 15% from two years earlier and increased 0.5% from a year earlier, according to Jefferies and NielsenIQ data.
Stockpiling by food retailers is driving shortages of some staples, grocery industry executives said, and is challenging a U.S. food supply chain already squeezed by transportation costs, labor pressure and ingredient constraints.
It only makes good business sense to buy and stock up now before prices increase even more. I can't remember any time in the past when grocers and restaurants began purchasing up to 25% more product than normal. Can you?
David Smith, CEO of the US’s largest wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers, told the Wall Street Journal they have been buying 15 to 20 percent more goods – particularly packaged foods with long shelf lives.
‘We’re buying a lot of everything. Our inventories are up significantly over the same period last year,’ said Smith.
At SpartanNash in Michigan, the retailer has bought up around 20 to 25 percent more than normal including frozen meat.
I'm pretty sure the U.S. government is going to continue
recklessly spending money, and the Federal Reserve is going to keep
pumping mountains of new (fiat) cash (or digits in a computer) into the financial system.
The Biden administration doesn’t seem to have an “off button”, and neither does the Fed. The U.S. national debt is moving up toward the 29 trillion dollar mark very rapidly, and the Fed’s balance sheet has more than doubled over the past year.
Unless there is some sort of a dramatic "black swan" event, this continuous flow of fiat money will continue to push food prices even higher.
Gas prices continue to go UP. It certainly hurts each individual's wallets, but think of how expensive it is to transport food all over the country.
According to the AAA Gas Price Index:
Transport costs are also rising with gas prices rising 56 percent in May from a year ago.
On Friday, the AAA Gas Price Index pegged the national average gas price at $3.086 (as of 7/13/2021 - 3.146) up from $2.171 one year ago.
If you look at the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map, it is way past "concerning" - it's terrifying if it continues a lot longer. Remember the Dust Bowl days in the 1930s? Many older folks certainly do! It's beginning to look like those days with water levels dropping dangerously low.
I live near the Great Salt Lake. It's expected to have the lowest level in 170 years this summer (2021).
It comes as the drought has the U.S. West bracing for a brutal wildfire season and coping with already low reservoirs. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, has begged people to cut back on lawn watering and “pray for rain.”
For the Great Salt Lake, though, it is only the latest challenge. People for years have been diverting water from rivers that flow into the lake to water crops and supply homes. Because the lake is shallow — about 35 feet (11 meters) at its deepest point — less water quickly translates to receding shorelines.
Because there is not enough water, many farmers are having to dramatically reduce the amount of crops that they are growing.
Small farmer Mindy Perkovich is only growing produce on one of her seven acres at this point, and she openly admits that she doesn’t know if she will even have enough water for that…
Perkovich typically grows things like turnips, squash and tomatoes for the local market on seven acres. This season, though, she’s had to cut her crops down to less than a single acre.
“We don’t know if we’re gonna have water to keep that alive,” she says. “Financially, I can’t really even express how dramatic it’s changed in the last couple years, water-wise, because without water, we can’t grow crops without crops, we have nothing to sell to our consumers.”
The Western States typically produce much of our fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention hay and alfalfa for animals. Not enough water affects the amount of food produced - it will be much lower than anticipated. This will cause prices to rise in the coming months.
On top of everything else, an enormous plague of grasshoppers is now causing massive headaches for farmers in the western states.
Grasshoppers multiply like crazy when the weather is extremely hot and dry. In some areas, the swarms are so thick that "it can appear the earth is moving," and there are times when the swarms are so large that they are actually appearing on radar.
Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska are being hit particularly hard. Even though the federal government has a large scale spraying campaign, the spraying may only reduce the plague, but most experts agree that it will not stop it.
Grasshoppers will continue to eat our crops on a massive scale for many months to come, and this is another factor that will be driving up food prices.
In summary, the outlook for the coming months is rather bleak.
All of these factors together (and they're not the only ones) are going to push prices significantly higher, and so if you can afford to stock up you should be doing so.
You have probably heard the Federal Reserve continue to insist that this bout of inflation is just "transitory", and you can believe them if you like. (They have since "retired" the word "transitory". )
But the truth is that high inflation is here to stay, and what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.