"After jumping 8.1 percent in 2011, the strongest annual increase in more than three decades, average wholesale food prices rose by more than 2 percent in 2012,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the association’s Research & Knowledge Group. "During the last six years, we've seen average wholesale food prices jump nearly 30 percent with the only decline – a 4 percent drop – occurring in 2009, so rising food costs have and will continue to be a challenge for restaurant operators."
Prices for many major commodities are expected to continue to increase this year, according to USDA research. Beef, chicken, pork plus most dairy products, such as cheese, butter and milk, are predicted to increase this year.
On the other hand, turkey and egg prices are the only major commodities USDA expects to be the same or possibly decrease.