December 7, 2021

Consumers Will Feel Drought’s Impact In Their Wallets

Drought that wiped out crops throughout the Midwest during the summer of 2012  will drive up grocery bills in 2013, according to a report from the Food Institute. On average, a family of four can expect to pay an extra $6.75 each week or about $351 more for the year.

Farm FieldThe U.S. Drought Monitor, which measures conditions weekly,  breaks drought intensity into five categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. For the week of September 11, 2013, 78.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. was somewhere on that spectrum, compared with 43.5 percent during the same week of 2012.  And 64 percent of the country was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions, compared with 30 percent the previous year.

Farmers have already experienced the impact of the drought, in the coming months, consumers will feel it, too. So how will consumers be hardest hit? Here’s how the report breaks things down.

At Home

Grocery purchases will increase about 4 percent, according to the Food Institute which based its forecast on recent U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures for 2013 and its annual book, the Demographics of Consumer Food Spending, which relies heavily on data from the federal bureau of labor statistics.

Most of that increase will be on meat, which is expected to cost a family of four  $44 more next year. That family will likely pay additional $23 for fresh produce and an extra $11 on processed fruit and vegetables.

Dining Out

Restaurant tabs will rise by about 3.5 percent, according to the report, meaning  a family of four will spend an additional $125 on meals they eat outside the home next year.

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