Peanut Butter Prices Up 50%!

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"Forget the cost of gasoline. Peanut prices jumped 50.6% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2011, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Photo by Scott Olson, Getty Images

We warned you last September that peanut butter prices were on the rise thanks to a combination of hot weather and drought in the southeast where most peanuts are grown.

J.M. Smucker Co., maker of Jif, Smucker’s Natural and other peanut butters, said at the time it would hike prices 30% beginning in November.

For the year-over-year comparison, peanut butter may have been unusually cheap in the first quarter of last year. But a 50% increase in price in 12 months is a big jump for what many people consider a household staple.

You also may want to hold the pickles, olives and relish on the next trip to the grocery store. The BLS says the price for those condiments rose 38.3% from the first quarter 2011  to the first quarter of this year.

For meat eaters, chicken got plucked for an 11.1% price increase in the first quarter, but pork chops were a bargain with costs falling 11.7%.

Perhaps saddest of all — ice cream prices rose 5%.

The best news on the food price front was a 10.9% drop in the price of fresh fruits and vegetables with lettuce down 23% and tomatoes costing 20% less.

And for those of you who actually make your own coffee, prices were down 8.2%.

Note: The BLS report is based on nationwide numbers and not the price at your local Costco or discount store.

You can check out the full BLS report on first quarter consumer prices HERE."


I noticed at Trader Joe's that PB had gone from $1.79 to $2.49 suddenly. I'm sure glad inflation is under control.


sashasue's picture
Yes, I do my grocery shopping

Yes, I do my grocery shopping at the same chain store every weekend.  Seeing the prices continue skyrocket on so many items is very disconcerting - and concerning! 

One recent example is the price of Cracker Barrel block cheeses.  A month or two ago, I noticed a point-of-sale coupon dispenser for that item, which was priced at $3.99 for a 10-ounce block.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I saw that the coupon dispenser had disappeared, and that there was a "new item!" shelf label.  Same packaging, but they shrank the size to 8 ounces -- and increased the price to $4.19!  That represents a more than 31% price hike!  :(

Watch out for the old size

Watch out for the old size reduction price raising trick! The companies make the sizes smaller but charge the same price to hide a price increase. Cereal, ice cream and tunafish are ones that come to mind in the past few years.

Yep. Gatorade is replacing

Yep. Gatorade is replacing its 32 ounce bottles with 28 ouce bottles.  Cuz that four ounces of sugar water costs them one-tenth of one cent.

Relax, your iPads are getting cheaper.  Play Angry Birds more.

captbebops's picture
I can't understand how many

I can't understand how many people can be clueless about these food increases and the package shrinking.   I guess they can't remember what prices were for things a year ago, 5 years ago or a decade ago.  Potato chips are a great one.  A bag is now $3 retail with fewer chips.  Some stores like the one near me have begun to cut out the middle man and use their own brands.  So that $3 bag same weight chips is $2 in the house brand and you can't tell the difference (probably because Frito-Lay may be making them for that line -- thats how the industry works BTW).

The peanut thing has happened before so I suspect if this year is good price should go down.  However if coffee prices is down why don't I see that at Starbucks?  After all Howard Schultz complained about the rise in coffee prices last year.


WhiteShoePrincess's picture
You can thank Ben Bernanke

You can thank Ben Bernanke and Wall Street bail outs for that! Every time wall street gets in trouble more money gets printed up just to save them at the expense of everyone else. Everyone who's middle class or poor pays with it by inflation.

WhiteShoePrincess's picture
I'm not saying the government

I'm not saying the government spending tax money on stuff is bad though! We need programs that help people and streets and sidewalks to be repaired.

I heard something on the news

I heard something on the news this week about an Angry Bird Virus in the app when you download.

Rodger97321's picture
And now for some GOOD

And now for some GOOD news:

The amount of ecoli in that peanut butter is unlikely to have gone up since they found that big batch of it last year and had to throw so much of it away.

Eating Pork is no more of an Old Book sin this year than last.

The sweet pickles and relish probably won't contain any more of that unhealthy sugary-like substance than it did before.

If it seems counter-intuitive that everything you buy costs more, but your government says there's little or no inflation (e.g. little or no basis for a Cost-of-living increase) - you are forgetting that the folks who put together those statistics are obviously purchasing a lot of porno, illicit drugs and prostitution services -  which must have gone down a lot lately.

workingman's picture
What how can this be the

What how can this be the government keeps saying there is no inflation. So there is no possible way food and gas is getting more expensive.

Because it is in the govt

Because it is in the govt interest to keep the inflation rate artificially low since it saves them money on their cost of living increases for Social Security and the like.