The global food industry generates trillions of dollars each year and is in the top ten of the largest industries worldwide. While that’s good news for farmers, restaurant owners, and consumers most of the time, that good news can turn sour when we consider the affects of inflation on the industry. Keep reading to learn how inflation affects the food industry and how the food industry can respond.
How Does Inflation Affect the Food Industry?
The basic definition of inflation, for those who are unaware, is the simultaneous increase in the purchasing price of a good and decrease in the purchasing value of money. Prices go up while the value of money goes down.
Farmers experience inflation when they pay workers higher wages, pay more for seeds or food for livestock, and when they buy expensive equipment repairs or replacements. Restaurants experience inflation through the demand for higher wages, an increase in ingredient costs, and struggles with supply-chain issues because expensive gas makes it difficult to get deliveries on time. And consumers experience inflation by getting paid the same amount but needing to make their salary stretch further, which means they can’t afford the goods and services they used to enjoy.
Inflation impacts all parts of the food industry, from making gas more expensive to hurting the ice cream industry.
What Causes Inflation in the Food Industry?
Now that we understand how inflation affects the food industry, we need to know how it starts. Then we can successfully combat it. Inflation can have numerous causes, some of which people can control and others we cannot. Weather and economic changes are two of the biggest causes of inflation in the food industry.
Weather is a big cause of inflation in the food industry. Crops and livestock depend on good weather that will allow them to thrive so farmers can eventually harvest and sell them accordingly. When natural disasters occur, flooding fields and killing livestock, there’s less crops and livestock for restaurants and consumers to purchase. That rarity often makes the prices skyrocket.
Economic changes like an increase in minimum wage can also create inflation in the food industry and other industries. When farmers and restaurant owners must pay their employees more, they make less money, which means they increase the costs of their goods and services so they can turn the same profit. If the value of money stays stagnant or decreases, these price hikes are even more expensive for consumers.
How Can the Food Industry Combat Inflation?
Each part of the food industry can combat inflation in their own way. Farmers should focus on optimizing their efficiency and making wise investments so that the money they spend comes back to them. Restaurants should use available technology to make sure they’re running efficiently too and may need to adjust their food supplies and operating hours. Consumers should budget well and invest their money wisely so that they’re never spending above their means and have something to fall back on if the economy continues to struggle.
So, how does inflation affect the food industry? It raises prices for everyone involved, from farmers to restaurant owners to consumers. To combat inflation, spend money wisely and focus on living and working as efficiently as possible. While budgeting and living efficiently can’t solve all causes of inflation, such as inclement weather, it can help you and your business or wallet successfully survive a period of inflation.