These Foods Will Cost More at Grocery Stores in 2023

Increases in the prices of eggs, butter, meat, and more are going to make grocery shopping extra expensive this year.

It used to be fairly easy to score all kinds of deals on grocery staples like butter, eggs, and other everyday items. But why is it so hard to find these food items on grocery store shelves lately, and why are these foods so expensive when you do find them? Buckle up, because a mix of climate change, supply chain issues, and bird flu are to blame here. And although rising grocery prices might seem grim, staying on top of predicted food spikes can help you plan ahead and make helpful adjustments to shopping and meal planning.

Why Are Egg Prices Spiking?

This time, it turns out, supply chain issues are not to blame. A strain of bird flu is affecting the farming stock across America, and many chickens that typically produce hundreds of eggs per year are adversely affected. 

According to the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Retail egg prices increased 11.1 percent in December 2022 and reached 59.9 percent above December 2021 prices.” This is due almost entirely to an outbreak of H5N1 in birds.

The USDA notes that bird flu has affected more than 57 million birds in 47 states, and egg prices are predicted to increase a whopping 27.3 percent in 2023.

Grocery store aisle showing butter and eggs

Bill Oxford / Getty Images | Design: Better Homes & Gardens

The Cost of Butter Is No Better

According to MarketWatch, “Butter prices rose by 31.4% on the year in December [2022], up from 27% in November, making the average price for a pound of butter $4.81 nationally. It was $3.47 a year earlier.” Due to rising temperatures and the extreme heat waves seen across most of the country last summer, cows are eating less, and therefore producing less milk.

The cost of running cow farms are also increasing, and many farmers are unwilling to shell out more money to sustain larger herds. Feed typically supplied by overseas factories have also been impacted by the war in Ukraine, causing a rise in food costs for the farmers to feed those cows, MarketWatch reports. In general, Ukraine and Russia combined produce 28% of the world’s supply of wheat and 15 percent of the world’s supply of corn—both foods commonly fed to cows.

What Other Foods Are Expected to Be More Expensive in 2023?

Unfortunately, the U.S. is set to see food cost increases in a few different categories this year. Other (non-poultry) meats are expected to rise in cost by 12.8 percent, whereas dairy products are expected to rise by 8 percent. “Fats and oils (16.5 percent), processed fruits and vegetables (9.6 percent), sugar and sweets (10.6 percent), cereals and bakery products (12.0 percent), nonalcoholic beverages (8.7 percent), and other foods (6.8 percent)” are also expected to rise in cost, says the USDA.

There is a slight silver lining: A predicted decrease in food costs for 2023 in a few categories. Beef and veal prices are predicted to decrease 1.8 percent in 2023; pork prices are predicted to decrease 3.0 percent; and fresh fruit prices are predicted to decrease 1.7 percent, per the USDA.

Rising food costs can be frustrating, but experts say sticking to a strict grocery list while you’re at the store can help. Buying in bulk, learning to reduce your food waste, and shopping under store labels instead of name brand labels might also help.

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  1. "Summary Findings, Food Price Outlook, 2023." Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  2. “A reflection on global food security challenges amid the war in Ukraine and the early impact of climate change.” McKinsey & Company.

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