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Produce prices to heat up this summer

Wednesday - 4/16/2014, 7:54am  ET

WASHINGTON - Will lettuce be considered a luxury if prices jump 34 percent?

Meat, spices and coffee are typically considered some of the biggest ticket items in a grocery store, but some produce could see double-digit price increases soon.

The drought in California could cause state farmers to lose between ten and twenty percent of several crops according to an Arizona State University (ASU) study detailed in the Wall Street Journal.

Some of the maximum price increase predictions include:

  • 34 percent: lettuce
  • 28 percent: avacados
  • 22 percent: broccoli
  • 21 percent: grapes
  • 19 percent: tomatoes
  • 18 percent: melons
  • 17 percent: peppers
  • 14 percent: berries
  • 13 percent: packaged salad

An ASU agriculture expert also tells the Wall Street Journal however that those high prices might not translate to every produce aisle product. Manufacturers setting prices realize consumers stop buying some items when they get too expensive.

People who consider bagged lettuce a luxury, for example, may instead choose to chop their own.

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