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The Future of Food Prices


What can we expect to pay for basic groceries this year, next year and in 2015?

You've seen the headlines: Experts are predicting that the rise in commodity food and energy prices will boost costs at the grocery store this year. Prices could go up by 2 to 4% -- or more.

For Americans, that would feel like a shock. Last year, the price we paid for food saw a meager rise of only 0.8%, the lowest increase on record since 1962, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In reality, an increase of 2 to 3% in consumer food prices would be in keeping with historical averages. But does that make anyone feel better?

Meanwhile, Americans have little fret about compared to other countries in the world where a combination of factors -- including weather events and crop failures -- will push food prices to dangerous levels. Food insecurity is already causing uprisings and isolated revolts in parts of Africa and Asia. It's generally accepted that higher costs of food contributed to the revolutions now rocking the Middle East.

Here, Minyanville reporters get analysts' takes on food commodity prices at home and abroad from a range of sources, including an interview with Bill Lapp, former chief economist for ConAgra Foods and current president of Advanced Economic Solutions, and Shawn Hackett a Florida-based financial advisor and commodities specialist who gave us his expert view on corn, coffee and wheat.

Here we present their inside views on the complicated food commodity markets and what may be in store for traders and consumers.

What Will Food Cost in 2015?
A look at the increases you can expect at the grocery store -- for bread, beer, fruit, vegetables, dairy and more -- as estimated by a former ConAgra economist.
By Ryan Goldberg
The Future of Food Prices: Wheat
Though currently reaching record highs, one advisor thinks there's only one direction for wheat prices to go: down.
By Justin Rohrlich
The Future of Food Prices: Sugar
Will the run of bad climatic luck continue, or will supply come back into line with demand? This spring, April showers or the lack of them will be key.
By Matthew Mallon
The Future of Food Prices: Meat
When it comes to domestic consumption, the traditional hierarchy of America's favorite proteins may be headed for a shift.
By Steve Burgess
The Future of Food Prices: Corn
While people in rich countries will moan about higher prices, inhabitants of poorer countries might face shortages and riots.
By Drea Knufken
The Future of Food Prices: Coffee
"How high does coffee have to go in order to tell really diehard coffee drinkers to drink less?" Here's one analyst's estimate.
By Drea Knufken
The Future of Food Prices: Dairy Products
Milk prices are expected to be volatile and unpredictable over the next few years of trading. Two experts explain why.
By Sara Churchville
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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