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, http://www.foodinstitute.com/outlook.htm

About the Food Institute
Founded in 1928, The Food Institute is a non-profit, membership-based information and research association. Members, including 4,000 executives in some 2,200 companies from over 40 countries worldwide, span the entire food distribution system.

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