Opinion: Prepare for Grocery Sticker Shock in 2024 With These 10 Items

Opinion: Prepare for Grocery Sticker Shock in 2024 With These 10 Items

Food prices always seem to increase at a faster rate than other items in the supermarket. Last year, we witnessed a glimpse of this trend with the widespread poultry losses caused by the Avian flu, leading to egg prices surpassing gas prices. Unfortunately, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers, forcing farmers to cull animals and processing plants to dispose of quality food that was initially intended for restaurants and couldn’t be sold at retail. Additionally, there have been instances of food processing plants mysteriously catching fire, raising questions about possible intentional actions.

We are witnessing a noticeable disappearance of items from grocery store shelves, which is also causing a shortage in distribution. This scarcity can potentially result in an increase in prices. While official food inflation numbers are not readily available, I strongly believe that it exceeds the government’s reported rate of 5.8%, possibly reaching 12 or 14%.

In 2024, here’s a list of predictions to keep in mind. Please note that these predictions are not meant to instill fear or encourage hoarding. They simply provide a glimpse into current market trends.


Beef and veal prices have seen a significant surge in recent years, and this upward trend shows no signs of slowing down. Alongside this, the rising delivery costs have also contributed to the overall price increase.

Supporters of AOC’s “Green New Deal” also seem to believe that cow flatulence contributes to the production of greenhouse gases, in addition to the costs associated with cattle growing and processing.

The cow sector and meat consumers are facing numerous initiatives aimed at penalizing them. While I cannot provide concrete evidence of how these initiatives are impacting beef prices, it is highly likely that the decrease in beef consumption is playing a role.


Chickens have a fast growth rate, but the large number of chicks being euthanized during the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges for flock rebuilding. In addition, the increasing price of beef has led to a higher consumption of chicken as the primary source of protein for many people. As a result, there is a possibility of chicken costs rising disproportionately as individuals look for alternatives to beef.


Shellfish has always been expensive. While the world’s oceans are vast, only a limited area can be harvested for this particular food source. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are being overharvested, but the limited availability does impact the cost, and we are quickly approaching a critical point.

Seafood prices are experiencing an unexpected surge, but experts predict that this upward trend will eventually stabilize. Shrimp, lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish are diminishing in size, resulting in reduced value for our money. It is anticipated that aquaculture practices will gradually replace the traditional method of wild harvesting shellfish. This transition could potentially lead to a significant decline in both the price and quality of shellfish in the market.


The Ukraine war, now nearing its two-year mark, continues to rage on without any signs of either side giving up. Unfortunately, this ongoing conflict has had a significant impact on Ukraine’s position as a major wheat provider. As a result of global shortages, wheat prices have surged. Fortunately, since we produce our own wheat, we haven’t experienced the same shortage domestically. However, as global supplies continue to dwindle, a larger portion of our wheat is being exported, leading to higher costs within the country.

Breakfast Cereal

Cheerios and other cereals rely on a variety of grains, with wheat flour being the primary component. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine poses a significant concern for the morning cereal industry, as Ukraine is a major producer of wheat and wheat flour. As a result, the prices of breakfast cereals may experience a sharp increase in the near future.

Baked Items

Baked goods, much like breakfast cereal, experience a rise in prices due to various factors. Whether it’s a large-scale commercial bakery or a small, family-owned business, the increasing costs of materials have a direct impact on the pricing of their products.

In supermarket bakeries and smaller bakeries, the production of baked goods requires a significant amount of labor. However, with the increasing minimum wages set by state and local governments, bakery owners are facing a challenge as their labor expenses rise faster than the cost of ingredients. This situation calls for alternative solutions to maintain reasonable food prices. One such solution is encouraging people to make baked goods at home. Not only can this help lower food prices, but homemade food also offers the added benefits of being healthier and more delicious compared to store-bought options.


Milk, just like wheat, is a commodity that is traded globally. However, with the decrease in international demand, milk exports have declined. As a result, more milk is being kept within the domestic market. This change in the market dynamics has led to stricter quality standards for milk production, which in turn has increased industry expenses. Unlike other products, milk is perishable and cannot be stored for later use. Farmers are therefore required to sell their milk on a daily basis, while retailers must ensure that they also sell it before it expires.

Butter, Margarine

Butter prices are on the rise as a result of higher milk prices. This increase in cost allows butter manufacturers to raise their prices without incurring any additional production expenses. It is a strategy driven by market demands, and these companies are capitalizing on the upward trend in butter prices.


Cheese prices are directly impacted by the cost of milk, as milk is the main ingredient in cheese. It’s quite logical when you think about it. To produce just one pound of cheese, you need a whopping 1.25 gallons or 10 pounds of milk. Therefore, any increase in milk prices has a significant impact on the price of cheese, sometimes even at a rate that may seem disproportionate.

Material costs are actually increasing due to the rising cost of cheese production. The manufacturing process of commercial cheese may be mechanized, but it still requires a significant amount of time, space, and resources. Consequently, the longer manufacturing time and the need for additional resources contribute to the higher cost of cheese.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetable farmers have always faced the challenge of weather fluctuations. While irrigation helps protect crops, only about 15% of US acreage is irrigated, leaving the majority dependent on rainfall. Unfortunately, crops are vulnerable to the negative effects of bad weather, and currently, a significant portion of the US is experiencing drought conditions, which are unlikely to improve.

The reason behind this weather phenomenon is uncertain, as it is challenging to determine whether it is a result of climate change or just a regular cyclical weather pattern. The available information can be quite perplexing, especially since people tend to hastily attribute it to climate change. Some even find humor in blaming cows for it. It’s quite amusing!

The cost of fruits and vegetables is expected to increase regardless.

In the United States, approximately 30% of fruits and vegetables are discarded simply because they have natural blemishes or other “unsightly” issues. It is unfortunate that most people nowadays prefer to consume only visually appealing food. The agricultural industry has invested billions of dollars in research to enhance the appearance of produce, often resulting in the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Shopping locally or growing your own food can address most of the issues mentioned above. Discover local farmer markets and cultivate your own garden! Our food system is in disarray, and the solution lies in distancing yourself from it as much as possible.


USDA ERS – Summary Findings. (n.d.). https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings/

Mohammed, O. (2023, December 1). New Estimates Show How Much Food Prices Will Rise in 2024. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/new-estimates-show-how-much-food-prices-will-rise-2024-1848596

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