Most U.S. consumers surveyed in February 2024 predicted that food prices would increase over the next 12 months. Sixty-four percent of respondents predict food prices will rise in the next year, and the average predicted increase is 3.7 percent, according to the February Consumer Food Insights Report.

The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses food spending, consumer satisfaction, and values, support of agricultural and food policies, and trust in information sources. Purdue experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S.

Over the same 26 months of the survey, the U.S. observed high food inflation that peaked at 11.3 percent in 2022. “Even though food inflation has cooled significantly since then, dropping to 2.6 percent this month, inflation remains positive,” said the report’s lead author, Joseph Balagtas, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue and director of CFDAS. “Consumers, on average, are predicting food price inflation to rise a bit in the coming year.”

Other key findings include:

  • Those who predict higher food prices place a higher value on food affordability.
  • Average weekly consumer food expenditures rose to $195 per week, up seven percent from February of last year.
  • Consumers who predict food prices will rise spend a slightly larger share of their food budget on food at home (1.2 percent).
  • Inflation expectations differ by political affiliation, with 71 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats expecting higher food prices.
  • Among those who trust Fox News as a source of information, 67 percent expect an increase in food prices, while among those who trust CNN as a news source, only 53 percent predict higher food prices.
  • Average weekly food-away-from-home meals are trending downward as food-away-from-home inflation persists (5.1 percent).

The most recent Consumer Price Index measure of year-over-year inflation for groceries (food at home) was 1.2 percent in January 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For food from restaurants (food away from home), the figure was 5.1 percent. Food-away-from-home (FAFH) inflation has remained higher than food-at-home (FAH) since March 2023.

For the full report, please click here.