WASHINGTON, DC, US — The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for baked foods and cereal products rose 0.3% in May, its second consecutive month of a 0.3% increase, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the index for all food at home was basically flat.

“Food-at-home inflation continues to move in the right direction, as several categories were either flat or saw further declines from the previous month,” said Andy Harig, vice president of tax, trade, sustainability and policy development at FMI — The Food Industry Association. “Since last year, food at home has only increased 1%, notably lower than the 3.3% year-over-year increase for overall inflation.

 “This is welcome news for the 85% of shoppers who tell us they place a high priority on getting good value when they grocery shop. Even as food inflation cools, discerning shoppers are exercising their options to get the most out of their grocery dollar. In fact, shoppers tell us they’ve employed one or more of 17 commonly used strategies to proactively address their food budgets. Whether it’s looking for more deals, buying in bulk, purchasing more store brands or changing where they shop, consumers continue to pursue strategies solidified over the last several years to find value in a way that best meets their needs.

“We remain encouraged by the latest CPI data on food prices, and the food industry will always continue to support shoppers seeking to maximize their grocery budgets by offering products and solutions that meet their desires for quality, convenience, experience and relevance.”

Of the 18 items followed by Milling & Baking News, a sister publication of World Grain, 9 posted month-over-month increases, 8 finished lower and 1 was unchanged.

The May index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 356.8% of the 1982-84 average, up 0.7% from a year ago. For all food at home, the May index was 305.7, up 1% from May 2023.

The CPI for cereals and cereal products in May was 288.5, down 0.5% from April but up 0.1% from May 2023. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 323.1, down 0.4% from April but up 0.6% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 282.4, up 0.4% from the previous month and up 1.7% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 290.6, down 1.3% from April and down 1.5% from May 2023.

The price index for bakery products in May was 396.5, up 0.6% from April and up 1% from May 2023.

The May index for bread was 239 up 1.1% from April and up 1% from May 2023. Under this heading, the CPI for white bread was 428.4, up 0.1% from April but down 0.4% from May 2023. For bread other than white, the index was 471.1, up 2.2% from April and up 2.7% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in May was 235.8, up 1.9% from April and up 2.8% from May 2023. The May index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 371, down 0.1% from April and down 0.2% from May 2023. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 387.4, down 0.4% from April and down 1.2% from May 2023; and cookies, 349.1, down 0.1% from the previous month but up 0.1% from the previous year.

The CPI for other bakery products in May was 356.4, up 0.1% from April and up 1.2% from May 2023. Under this heading, other price indexes in May included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 385.5, down 0.1% from April but up 0.9% from May 2023; crackers and cracker products, 440, up 1.7% from April and up 4.2% from May 2023; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 347, down 0.9% from April but up 0.2% from the previous year.