Food prices will continue to rise at a sharply lower rate than overall inflation - this year and next, according to The Food Institute, Elmwood Park, NJ-based trade association.In 2001 overall food prices are forecast to climb between 2.0-2.5% compared to an overall inflation rate of 2.9%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And, through the first eight months of 2000, food was climbing at an annual rate of only 2.1% versus a forecasted all item increase of 3.2%."The share of consumer disposable personal income spent for food at-home has shrunk dramatically over the past 20 years," said Food Institute President, Rick Pfaff. " In 1978, the typical family spent 9.2% of their disposable income for food at-home. By next year that share is expected to drop to only 6.2%. Away-from-home food spending," added Pfaff, "has continued to climb, but will still account for only 4.2% of consumer disposable income in 2001, comparable to the 4.3% share spent for eating out in 1978."The complete "Food Price Forecast, 2001" can be found at the association's website,