IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Food prices are rising, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics prices have gone up by 0.4% in February and March of 2014, which makes it the largest monthly increases in food prices since 2011.
There are many factors contributing to rising costs. Increasing production costs and wholesale prices, as well as weather. The drought in California caused prices of dairy, fruit and vegetables to go up. Higher feed costs also affect meat which saw the biggest spike in price.
Mother of two Tiffany Dillon is shopping at Natural Grocers in Idaho Falls because of the organic selection here.
"I've seen some places where they are four times the regular prices and I haven't seen that here. So that's why we're here," said Dillon
Dillon is among many moms trying to get quality food on a budget.
Citrus fruit is among the top 10 foods that have increased most in price over the past four years.
"Here we have naval oranges and they are $1.99 a pound," said Trevor Bennion, and employee and nutritional coach at Natural Grocers.
Co-president of Natural Grocers, Kemper Isely said the company has seen the trend toward higher food prices and store employees agree.
"Yeah, meat and cheese tend to be more expensive," said Bennion.
That follows the national average which shows ground beef prices rose by 35% over the past four years.
The only food that's gone up more than ground beef is bacon. Its prices rose more than any other food by 53% in four years. Also on the top ten list is chicken, up by 22% and coffee up by 35%.
Natural Grocers said they are responding to the trend by being more aggressive in purchasing. Isely says the store also works on a much lower margin than competitors and pricing reflects that.
Natural Grocers will begin healthy cooking classes and seminars on April 23rd. The class runs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and is taught by a certified nutritional health coach. The store is located on 1270 E. 17th Street in Idaho Falls. For more information on the classes call (208) 523-6100.