"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.
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.