Cost of making a classic lunch at a US diner is 13% more now, shows data

1 week ago

The cost of preparing a classic lunch at an American diner has shot up by almost 13 per cent in a year.

To track inflation’s effect on a menu choice, Bloomberg created an American Diner Index that includes ingredients for some classic American diner foods. Prices for lettuce and bread have surged 33 per cent and 20 per cent in the past year.

Two other key ingredients in the club sandwich, turkey and ham, also soared by more than 10 per cent. And a half gallon of ice cream now costs about $5.64, up from $4.92 a year ago.

Food costs in the US are up 11.4 per cent from a year ago, the most since 1979, and are a key driver behind the nation’s 8.3 per cent overall inflation rate.

Romaine lettuce has had the biggest yearly jump overall in the lunch index, likely because of cutbacks in planting by US farmers wary of unpredictable consumer demand. Turkey and ham are up by 16 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Low-income consumers cut back their purchases noticeably, but some fast-casual chains reported stronger spending by higher-income patrons in the second quarter, said analyst Michael Halen.

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