Defining “Costs” in the Food Industry: Implications of Higher Food Prices

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, domestically, that the drought alerted the industry and consumers to potential coming food supply fallout. According to several sources, this fallout and the challenges it has posed, may be a dominant theme in the coming year. Not only North American consumers will feel the effects. Global concerns about the food industry include: the previously mentioned drought, slow global economic growth, economic crisis in the EU, droughts elsewhere, etc. It all adds up to a potentially challenging year. Issues have arisen with grain especially, along with beef and vegetables.

The World Bank, for instance is concerned that: “Even as the world seems to have averted a global food price crisis, a growing sense of a ‘new norm’ of high and volatile prices seems to be consolidating.” The ramifications of the volatile nature of the market have numerous effects. To begin, the coming year could see even greater difficulty in assuring a food supply for all. Currently, “U.N. agencies have estimated that some 870 million people are chronically malnourished.” Aside from hunger concerns domestically, food prices are likely to affect consumers choices and their pocketbooks. Of course, this comes at a time when many are still struggling with a shaky but perhaps on the mend economy. This shortage, especially for these consumers, will mean, according to Food Business News, that: “it will be essential for manufacturers to market good value.”

Met with a host of ethical, moral, economic, and political issues, the food industry has a busy 2013 ahead. Much can be said and predicted for the year, and ultimately time will tell what is in the cards for the food industry in this new year. Nelson-Jameson will continue to use the Wide Line Blog to feature information on the food industry that we hope will be relevant to you in 2013, among these many concerns. We also welcome your suggestions for ideas and topics for pieces that you would like to see.

A Picture of Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

About Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

Laboratory Products Department Manager, Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
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