Your favorite Super Bowl food like wings, guacamole and beer cost more thanks to inflation

Kelly Tyko
  • Inflation is driving up prices of your favorite Super Bowl foods like wings, guacamole and beer.
  • The latest CPI report shows consumer prices surged 7.5% in January compared with 12 months earlier.
  • More people plan to throw or attend a Super Bowl party Sunday than in 2021. Spending also is higher than last year.

Inflation could toss a penalty flag into your Super Bowl party plan.

The prices for the top game-day finger foods are higher than they were last year and in recent history, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change paid by consumers for goods and services, surged a faster-than-expected 7.5% in January compared with 12 months earlier. It's the sharpest year-over-year increase since February 1982.

(If inflation has been hitting your wallet or you're having a hard time finding some items due to shortages, feel free to fill out this form, which also is below, to tell USA TODAY about your experiences.)

There are many reasons for the higher grocery bills, including labor shortages, widespread supply-chain bottlenecks, countless product shortages and strong consumer demand.

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While prices of many individual items are higher, shoppers are expected to spend less on Super Bowl parties than the record $88.65 per person in 2020 when the total reached $17.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation data. This year, shoppers will shell out $14.6 billion on food, drinks, apparel, decorations and other items for the day, up from $13.9 billion in 2021.

The federation's 2022 survey found that 90 million people plan to throw or attend a party on Sunday, up from 62.8 million last year. And 13.7 million adults plan to watch the game at a bar or restaurant.

So huddle up, all you party-throwers. Make your shopping list now, but be ready to call an audible if prices on some foods give you sticker shock.

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Avocados cost more green

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s retail report on avocado prices between Feb. 4 and Feb. 10 showed that avocados were "significantly higher in price than last year."

The average price of a Hass avocado was $1.24, and they were available at 5,505 stores, compared with 78 cents last year at nearly 20,000 stores.

Wholesale avocado prices were also up. A 9-kilogram box of Hass avocados from Mexico cost $26.23 last week, Bloomberg reported, the most expensive for the time of year going back two decades.

The new CPI data shows all fruits and vegetables combined rose 5.6% in the past year and increased 1.7% from December.

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Chicken wing shortage continues, prices up 12% in year

The nation's chicken wars and cravings for comfort food during the pandemic have made poultry so scarce and expensive that some restaurants have had to limit chicken sandwiches, wings and tenders. Others have made changes to menus and promotions.

Chicken prices have been on the rise: The new CPI report showed chicken parts were up 11.6% in January compared with last year.

The USDA's national retail report on advertised chicken prices at major supermarket outlets between Feb. 4 and Feb. 10 shows fewer stores promoted deals on chicken wings this year than in 2021.

Last year, 789 stores advertised that whole wings were on sale at an average price of $2.82 a pound. That compares with 392 stores this year promoting the average price of $2.98.

Domino's recently reduced the number of wings in its $7.99 carryout deal from 10 to eight pieces per order.

Wing Zone CEO Ashley Morris told USA TODAY that chicken wings are in high demand and have always been a football season favorite.

“However, the convergence of increasing popularity, particularly during football season and the national COVID-19-related supply-chain crises, has been a real risk for many restaurants with many suppliers unable to fulfill orders,” Morris said.

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Beer prices hit by shortages

Like chicken, beer has been affected by supply chain disruptions, particularly brews sold in cans that are dealing with an aluminum shortage, which is limiting supplies of pet food and other canned goods.

The prices for beer ingredients also are skyrocketing because of supply-chain bottlenecks throughout the world.

Ahead of the new CPI report, the Beer Institute, a national trade association for the American brewing industry, said Wednesday that "beer prices have remained low even during a historic period of inflation." The group said the trend of low beer prices continued last year and trailed the overall CPI 1.8% to 4.7% on average in 2021.

According to the latest CPI report, the prices of beer, ale and other malt beverages consumed at home increased 1.8% in the past year.

Contributing: Associated Press

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