May 14, 2023 - Economy

Your Mother's Day breakfast costs more this year

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Mother's Day breakfast spread is more expensive than last year — even as falling grocery prices bring some relief from inflation.

The big picture: Eggs, bacon and coffee prices have all dropped from their record highs, but food prices are still up 7.7% in the 12 months through April, according to the latest Consumer Price Index.

  • The U.S. national average for a dozen large eggs in April was $3.27, down from a record high in January of $4.823, federal data shows. With the recent decline, prices were still up 21.4% year-over-year, the CPI showed.
  • Orange juice and white bread have both continued to increase and are at record highs, data shows.

An Axios analysis of a basket of breakfast foods (charted above) using federal pricing data found only bacon cost less in April than a year earlier.

  • A pound of bacon was 87 cents cheaper in April at $6.549 compared to $7.422 a year earlier.

What's happening: Some prices are dropping because the "supply disruption of labor has largely fixed itself with the return of more workers," Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute told Axios.

  • Other prices like bread and cereals are rising because of demand for key ingredients like grains as well as the cost of packaging, said Curt Covington, senior director of institutional business at AgAmerica.

An outbreak of avian influenza prompted the worst surge in egg prices since a similar outbreak hit in 1973.

  • "Egg prices at a wholesale level are back to within a historic price range and are very affordable once again," Kevin Bergquist, Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute sector manager, told Axios. "That being said, grocers may not have passed along the lower prices just yet."
  • Covington said he expects egg prices to drop soon at the retail level since we are past the Easter holiday.

Breakfast food prices

Those serving pancakes, cereal, toast and bakery treats to mom face double-digit increases over last year.

By the numbers: White bread is up 14.3% in the year through April and cost an average of $1.989 per pound in April, a record high.

  • Flour and prepared flour mixes were up 17.8% in the 12 months through April, but were down 1.3% from the prior month.
  • Breakfast cereal was up 10% in the year through April and up 0.1% from March.
  • Fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins were up 12.9% for the year and 1.4% from March.

What's next: Experts tell Axios that they expect prices to keep dropping for some items.

  • "The supplies and the bottlenecks that came with all the logistical issues from COVID are starting to kind of wane a bit," Covington said, "so I think you'll probably see some core prices become more attractive this summer."

Mother's Day brunch dining out

Of note: If you're taking mom out, be prepared for higher costs, crowds and long waits on one of the busiest days of the year to eat out, according to the National Restaurant Association.

  • Costs for food away from home, including at restaurants, are up 8.6% year-over-year and rose 0.4% compared to the prior month.

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