December 30, 2016

NOTHING COSTS MORE THAN IT USED TO:

Why cheaper food in 2016 was not necessarily good news (Geoffrey Mohan, 12/28/16, LA Times)

For food shoppers, 2016 was a back-to-the-future experience, with retail prices deflating for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was president.

The year is expected to end with an annual drop of between 0.5% and 1.5% in the retail price of food prepared at home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. [...]

Privately held Albertsons, which has postponed an initial public offering of stock, acknowledged struggling with "deflationary trends" this year. The company, which operates Vons, Safeway and Pavilions stores among other brands, reported  that sales growth dropped to 1.7% in the first two quarters of 2016, compared with nearly 5% annual sales growth in 2015, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

"For grocers, of course, it's harder for them to show top-line increases in sales," said Brian Todd, president and chief executive of the Food Institute, a nonprofit organization that tracks economic trends from farm to plate. "They've gone toward trying to save money in other areas."

The annual value of U.S. agricultural sector production is expected to fall 5.9%, to $403.7 billion in 2016, almost entirely due to declines in the value of animals and animal products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Posted by at December 30, 2016 7:57 AM

  

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