Nation's Drought May Drive Up Prices

With the U.S. Agriculture Department’s recent forecast that food prices will rise throughout the year due to the nation’s widespread drought, many consumers are concerned about how the forthcoming price hikes will influence their grocery shopping.

According to a survey conducted by New York-based Harris Interactive on behalf of, 86 percent of U.S. adults are aware of the nation's drought epidemic, 43 percent of whom have been closely following news relating to the issue. More than one-third (36 percent) believe the drought will cause a spike in food costs and are seriously concerned how this will affect their families in the coming year.

When asked how they would adapt to rising food prices, survey respondents said they would use the following tactics: use coupons (70 percent), buy store brands/generic items (60 percent), buy less expensive items (48 percent), shop at discount grocery stores (45 percent), buy in bulk to undercut per-unit prices (41 percent) and freeze large amounts of food (33 percent).

“Shoppers are being proactive and already thinking about how they will combat rising food prices in the months to come,” said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at Whiting, Ind.-based “Sometimes, consumers get really creative in coming up with new ways to save money on food, including community gardens and community gatherings to swap tips and tricks.”

The survey was conducted online among 2,208 U.S. adults.

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