In a recent online poll of over 27,000 respondents over 80% feel that food prices will rise in the United States this year.
One of the things we try do At The Ready Store is to stay current with the events going on in our world so we can try and deliver relevant information to our customers with regards to preparing for the unknown.
Something that we have seen consistently over the last several months is talk about the global food supply being in danger due to a variety of reasons such as poor crop output stemming from bad weather, an example is the flooding in Australia which is looking like it will wipe out their wheat crops entirely. Then there are other factors like a very large and rapidly growing middle class in China and other emerging countries where demand spikes and cause a stress to the global food chain supply. In some places the price increases have led to riots, recently Tunisia’s President fled his country from deadly riots stemming from high inflation on food.
Luckily in the United States we have several things that create a bit of a buffer on food prices so they are not so volatile. One is due to the amount of money spent on advertising, processing, and promotions. When raw product costs increase companies can back off their marketing spends to a degree and soften the blow to the consumer. In developing countries there is no margin for a farmer to work with when selling to the consumer. Another reason is people in developed countries tend to eat more processed foods, where the ratio of raw materials is lower than that of the diet of people in underdeveloped countries. Lastly, in underdeveloped countries the average person spends more than half of their income on food whereas in the US the typical person spends 13% of their income on food.
So what does all of this mean to you and me? For me it is a reminder of our fortuitous position we have in the U.S. but also that the cushion or margin is getting thinner and thinner even for a developed country like the United States where a couple unfortunate events could possibly lead to a jump in price and make certain foods unattainable. I can’t but help think back to a couple years ago where gas prices nearly hit $4 a gallon and I sat there wising I could have somehow stockpiled a large storage that was purchased for $2 something a month or two earlier. While that may prove difficult to do that isn’t the case with food and water storage options that are available today, the flexibility afforded by dehydrated and freeze-dried food along with a wide variety of water storing options means that today I can get ready for possibly an expensive tomorrow.