Consumers are significantly less likely to say that the U.S. has an affordable food supply than they were two years ago, according to a new consumer survey. According to the Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey, 50.1 percent of consumers said in May that U.S. food is affordable, down from 55.6 percent in May 2023 and 59 percent in May 2022.

Food affordability is one of seven dimensions of the food system the Gardner survey tracks, and it has seen the most change over the past two years.

When thinking about inflation three months from now, 41.1 percent of respondents expect that inflation will become worse, 35.3 percent expect it will stay the same, and 23.6 percent expect it will become better.

Due to high prices identified by consumers, quick-service restaurants have announced lower-priced menus, according to the survey report.  Retailers and box chains also claim to be cutting prices in response to consumer pushback.

GFAPS tracks consumer sentiment on policy issues in food and agriculture. As the November elections approach, “inflation will be a key issue for voters.”

The full survey report is available here.