Retail Food Price Inflation Varied Geographically in 2023

Retail food price inflation varied by locality in 2023, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. New data shows food-at-home, or grocery prices, rose the fastest last year in Houston, Texas, by 7.8 percent, followed by Boston, Massachusetts, at seven percent.

In contrast, food-at-home prices declined by 1.3 percent in 2023 in Anchorage, Alaska, and rose by the lowest amount—1.7 percent—in Honolulu, Hawaii. Across the United States, food-at-home prices increased by 5.0 percent on average in 2023. Differences in retail overhead expenses, such as labor and rent, can explain some of the variation among cities, because retailers often pass local cost increases to consumers in the form of higher prices. Furthermore, differences in consumer purchasing patterns for specific foods may help explain variations in inflation rates among cities.

Products that consumers purchase vary regionally, and each metro area’s inflation rate is calculated based on a representative set of foods unique to the area.