- The price of snack food sold in vending machines in the US was up 2.3% between May and June.
- This is the biggest single-month cost jump on record, according to Axios.
- Food shortages, the labor shortages, and supply chain snafus are leading to price hikes.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Vending machine food prices soared in June.
According to the consumer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, snack food sold in these machines in the US was up 2.3% last month, the biggest single-month cost jump on record, Axios reported. The cost of eating out was up 0.7% overall.
Food shortages, wage hikes, and the ongoing labor crisis are putting pressure on food manufacturers and restaurants to increase prices. Brands that are typically stocked in vending machines – Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Nestlé for example – are facing the same challenges and said they are raising prices on the consumer site to offset rising costs.
“We now see broad-based inflation across our various commodities, packaging materials, and transportation costs,” Nestlé’s CEO, Mark Schneider, said on a call with analysts in April. “Not all of these items can be hedged, and our hedging cover for a number of commodities will run out over time. We are raising prices where appropriate.”
Food brands and retailers are being hit on all sides. The ongoing shipping crisis – which caused a breakdown in the freight supply chain – is leading to delays and increased shipping costs, which is driving up the price of food.
Read more: Why the world is in a shipping crisis
Other companies are being impacted by a tight labor market, which is leading to worker shortages and therefore, delays in production and distribution. Some have had to hike wages to attract new workers and are passing these expenses on to the customer.
Some experts are expecting these price hikes to go on well into 2022.
The US inflation scare is “far from over” as shortages and supply chain issues continue to put pressure on prices, Andrew Hunter, senior US economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients cited by The Guardian.
Others are more optimistic:
Price increases could be short-lived as the economy reopens and supply chain snafus ease up, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, told Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Madison Hoff this week.