According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index Summary, released December 16, U.S. consumers paid more for food, including poultry meat and eggs, overall in 2011.

The index for “food at home” rose 5.9% over the past 12 months, with “all six major grocery store food groups up at least 4.4%.” The six major grocery store food groups are: cereal and bakery; meat, poultry, fish and eggs; dairy and related food items; fruits and vegetables; non-alcoholic beverages; and other food at home. The index for “food away from home,” or food purchased from fast-food or full-service restaurants, rose 2.9% in 2011, unadjusted for the seasons, according to the BLS.


Ricky Volte, research economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said that weak economic growth has driven more consumers to purchase food at the grocery store rather than going out to eat, increasing demand and, subsequently, prices for “food at home.”