This year’s Super Bowl parties will have an uninvited guest: high inflation.
The prices of gameday finger foods have soared, in many cases beyond even the forty-year high of 7.5 percent inflation reported by the Department of Labor Thursday.
Food inflation overall is running at seven percent, the highest rate since 1982. Food-at-home inflation is running at 7.4 percent. But many of the items that are popular at Super Bowl parties are seeing even higher price hikes.
“It will cost about 8% to 14% more than 2021,” Wells Fargo estimated in a recent report.
Guacamole: Good luck finding avocados. This year, avocados are available in about one-quarter of the number of stores as last year. And the average price is at $1.24 up from 78 cents last year, a massive 58 percent price increase.
Chicken Wings: Thursday’s consumer price index shows that chicken parts prices are up 11.6 percent compared with a year ago. But that includes drumsticks, thighs, and breasts. Focusing in on wings, prices are up 27 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Silver lining: they are available in about three times as many grocery stores as they were a year ago.
“Super Bowl weekend is here and chicken retailers are increasing chicken feature rate and activity index in circulars, but shoppers will have to look a little harder to catch a bargain,” the USDA said in its report.
Crackers: If Elizabeth Warren were right that “corporate greed” is behind inflation, then cracker makers would be some of the greediest people on earth. Cracker prices are up 12.6 percent. Puttin’ on the Ritz, indeed. (Don’t worry, she’s not right about inflation and we’re sure cracker folk are not any greedier than the rest of us.)
Chips: Cornmeal prices are up 5.2 percent, which is likely pushing up the prices of tortilla chips. (Inexplicably, there is no CPI line for tortilla chips themselves.) Potato prices are nearly flat with a year ago, so potato chips may be a better bet. Corn people are greedier than potato people, obviously.
Beer: The God of inflation has some mercy and made non-greedy people run breweries. Beer prices are up just 1.8 percent compared with last year. Wine prices are up just 0.9 percent.
Soda: Soda, pop, coke. Whatever you want to call fizzy, sugary drinks, carbonated beverages are up 3.8 percent.
Shrimp: “It is up sharply from last year’s $3.60 per pound (at the wholesale import level, according to Urner Barry7) to close to $4.40 per pound (same index),” Wells Fargo reported. “That’s a 22 percent increase.” Fishermen are the poster-children for corporate greed.
Ham: The price of ham is up 10 percent compared with a year ago because of those greedy piggies.
Cheese: Cheese-makers, by contrast, are blessedly generous and have only raised prices 0.2 percent.
Snacks: This catchall category for in the inflation data is up 8.2 percent.
Salsa: Prices of relishes, which include salsa, are up 6.7 percent.
Lunchmeats: The protein-industrial-complex has jacked prices of lunchmeats up 8.2 percent. (Suspiciously the same increase as snacks!)
Overall, spending on Super Bowl entertaining is expected to increase around five percent this year from $13.9 billion to $14.6 billion, according to the National Federation of Retailers.