April prices for supermarket staples like eggs, meat and cereal saw a the largest one month spike in close to fifty years, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Overall, food prices climbed an average of 2.6%, highest increase since February, 1974.
The price index for eggs climbed more than 16% — the biggest increase for any food item.
As consumers are buying more groceries and eating at home more often, David Ortega, a food economist and associate professor at Michigan State University, said he thinks it’s less of an issue of grocers taking advantage of the current market environment, and more a symptom of current market conditions.
“For the most part, it’s supply and demand issues here, at play,” Ortega said to CNN. “What we're seeing here is economic forces at play, but also the resiliency of our food system to be able to provide food at a reasonable price."
CNN reached out to several grocery store chains to ask about consumer concerns around rising prices at the supermarket.
Publix, one of the largest grocery store chains in the southeast, said in a statement to CNN, “In some instances, there have been price increases from manufacturers. We work extremely hard to negotiate pricing with our suppliers, so that we can offer the best price to our customers. To mitigate price increases during difficult times such as these, we also try to absorb as much of the increase as we can before having to pass along an increase to our customers."