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Small Business Center

Restaurant Prices Fried by Pricier Potatoes

September 1, 2022

Suppliers to independently owned restaurants and major chains are raising prices as potatoes get more expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a 6% jump in the price of white potatoes from 85 cents a pound in April, to 93 cents a pound in July. The price rose 21.8% from July 2021 to July 2022. Severe heatwaves in Idaho, where a third of the nation’s potatoes are grown, shrank harvests, making price hikes a question of supply. Broadly, other supply-side factors, including higher labor costs, as well as price hikes for machinery, fuel, fertilizer, crop seeds and other inputs, are driving up food prices nationally, and many small businesses are passing at least some of the costs on to their customers.

It's not just greater tater prices. Overall food prices remain high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The food index in July increased 10.9% year over year, the largest 12-month increase since May 1979.  The food away from home index rose 0.7% in July after rising 0.9% year over year in June. The index for limited-service meals increased 0.8%, and the index for full-service meals increased 0.6% from last year.

See the full story in Small Business Trends here

By Will Swarts

Executive Editor, ICSC Small Business Center

Small Business Center

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