As the grip of inflation weakens, the prices of some beloved breakfast items have experienced a descent. The cost of bacon and eggs, in particular, has dropped, bringing relief to consumers. However, it’s important to exercise caution when making choices as other breakfast staples have witnessed a surge in prices.
Interestingly, although both bacon and ham originate from pork, their price trajectories have moved in opposite directions. The price of bacon has been in decline since last summer, marking a 10% decrease from this time last year, according to recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In stark contrast, ham prices currently sit at a 4.7% increase compared to June 2022.
Despite the recent variations, it’s essential to note that both bacon and ham remain pricier than they were before the pandemic. Since January 2020, bacon prices have skyrocketed by 12.9%, while ham has witnessed a significant increase of 20.2%.
Moreover, the beloved breakfast sandwich also faces cost inflation due to rising bread prices. Although inflation, on the whole, has been stabilizing, bread prices have soared by 11.5% compared to a year ago. Elevated flour costs principally drive this surge, resulting in increased prices across bakery products like cookies, cakes, and crackers.
Egg prices have been on a roller-coaster ride over the past year. Initially, avian flu outbreaks wreaked havoc on supplies, leading to astronomical price hikes in 2022. However, since the beginning of this year, egg prices have gradually reduced. By June, eggs were 8% cheaper than they were a year ago, although still 27% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
For dairy enthusiasts, there is some respite as the prices of fresh whole milk have significantly dropped since February. In comparison to last year, consumers can now save a notable 4% on their milk purchases. Cheese prices have also experienced a slight decline, albeit at a slower pace. As of June, cheese-related products remain approximately 1% pricier than they were last summer. Nevertheless, when compared to pre-pandemic prices, milk and cheese carry a more substantial increase of 19% and 14%, respectively.
While fruit is lauded as a healthy breakfast choice, budget-conscious consumers must exercise discernment in their selections. Oranges offer a glimmer of affordability by witnessing a 5.6% decrease in prices from a year ago. However, the same cannot be said for apples, which continue to rise in price, sitting at a 4.5% increase compared to June 2022.
As prices ebb and flow, consumers must navigate their breakfast options wisely, keeping a keen eye on both their taste buds and their wallets.