Bacon becomes latest victim of supply chain disruptions, inflation

Chipotle is shaking up the fast food world with their addition of brisket

Jack Hartung, Chipotle’s CFO, announces Chipotle’s newest meaty addition of brisket to the menu. Jack also joins ‘Cavuto: Coast to Coast’ to discuss the rising prices of the menu to offset labor costs and Chipotle’s core crowd.

Bacon has become the latest victim of recent supply chain bottlenecks and inflation. 

KELLOGG WORKING TO ‘MITIGATE SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS’ AFTER STRIKE HITS US CEREAL PLANTS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average sliced bacon prices hit a record high of $7.09 in August, an increase of nearly 50% over the past 10 years. In August 2011, the price of sliced bacon was $4.77. 

Roasted bacon on cutting board. Ingredient used in making Jam Bread or “Pan de Jamon” a Venezuelan Christmas food. (iStock / iStock)

Within the consumer price index, the component for food at home has risen six months in a row and is up 2.6% this year.

Half of the basket’s price increase is due to soaring prices for beef, pork and poultry. Beef prices have risen 14% this year while pork prices have jumped 12.1%, and poultry prices are higher by 6.6%.

Prices were up in five of the six major grocery store food groups in July, falling only for fruits and vegetables. The category saw prices dip 0.9% after rising 0.7% in June.

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In addition to an uptick in demand playing a factor in the price increases for food, the White House has cited a lack of competition in meat-processing as a root cause, noting that just four firms control approximately 55% to 85% of the beef, pork and poultry market.

"The data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic," National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a Sept. 8 briefing. "That’s why the Biden-Harris administration is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country."

In order to address the lack of competition in meat processing, the Biden administration has outlined a multi-tiered plan which includes an investigation into price-fixing in the chicken-processing industry; stricter enforcement of antitrust laws; $1.4 billion in pandemic assistance or small producers, processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood processors, and food and farm workers; and $500 million to expand local and regional meat and poultry processing capacity.

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Consumer prices increased 0.4% in August, the same increase as the previous month. Core PCE, which excludes food and energy, rose 3.6% year-over-year in August, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the past year, inflation rose 4.3%, up slightly from the previous month and the highest in more than three decades.

The Federal Reserve has said the price increases that have occurred in the wake of COVID-19 are "transitory" and that those pressures will subside as the supply-chain disruptions are resolved. 

While Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged the supply chain disruptions have lasted longer than expected, he anticipates the situation will start improving next year, which would start to push inflation lower in the first half of 2022.

FOX Business' Jonathan Garber and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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