Food inflation that has gripped the United States for the past two years will put a significant damper on Super Bowl parties even as football fans can claw back some savings depending on the snacks they decide to purchase.
Prices for food at home have increased 11.8% between December 2021 and December 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while prices for food away from home have increased 8.3% over the same period. Costs for every segment in the former category, from cereals and bakery goods to meat and poultry, have risen significantly over the past year.
Friends and family gathering to watch the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend will have to contend with the high prices. Hosts who provide their guests with chips and dip, which respondents to a survey from Better Homes and Gardens identified as their most popular game day snack, will face prices for field-grown tomatoes that have risen 16.9% over the past year. Costs for potato chips have likewise increased 22%, while prices for cheddar cheese and American cheese have increased 14% and 19.7%, respectively.
Higher costs for tomatoes and cheese could apply upward pressure to prices for pizza, the third most popular fare identified by survey respondents; all-purpose white flour, another common component of pizza, is likewise 34.5% more expensive since last year.
Football enthusiasts can nevertheless experience cost savings in some areas. Prices for chicken wings, the second most popular Super Bowl fare, have declined roughly 21.6% over the past year, according to an analysis from Wells Fargo. Chicken legs are 3.9% less expensive.
Common side dishes and beverages, however, are precipitously more expensive. Prices for chocolate chip cookies have risen 21.6% over the past year, while prices for malt beverages such as beer have risen 10.9% over the same period.
The Super Bowl is not the first holiday in recent years to be severely impacted by inflation. The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner rose 20% between 2021 and 2022, according to an analysis from the American Farm Bureau Association, while the cost of a Fourth of July cookout rose 17%.
President Joe Biden claimed ahead of his second State of the Union address that the United States has witnessed annualized headline inflation which has declined for “six months” due to his economic policies. Despite the recent slowdown in price level increases driven by lower energy costs, year-over-year inflation was charted at 6.5% in December 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly quintupling the 1.4% rate seen in December 2020.
The commander-in-chief nevertheless asserted during the landmark speech that food prices are “coming down” as take-home pay increases. Price levels, however, have grown at a consistently faster rate than nominal wages over the past two years, reflecting an erosion of buying power.
“Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies. But we’re better positioned than any country on Earth,” Biden told lawmakers and senior government officials in the speech. “We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down.”