Inflation is at the highest levels in 40 years, and that means the price of feeding people at your Super Bowl party is going to skyrocket.
According to a new analysis from economists at Wells Fargo, wings, pizza, and other favorite party foods will be about 8% to 14% more expensive than in 2021.
“You’re gonna find some bargains, especially around chips and guacamole and some fresh fruits and vegetables, but right around proteins, especially steak, hamburgers and chicken wings, it’s going to be very expensive this year,” Wells Fargo chief agricultural economist Michael Swanson told the New York Post.
Chips and dip will be the least costly options for your appetizers. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the price of potato chips increased only 1% compared with this time last year, according to Swanson. The same goes for guacamole and avocados, which are imported from Mexico and other parts of South America. Salsa, on the other hand, is about 6% more expensive compared to last year because of supply chain issues like labor, packaging, and shipping.
Those looking to save money should buy veggies too. Carrots, celery, and tomatoes haven't been impacted that much by inflation, and Swanson recommends buying in bulk to save even more money.
"The proteins are where the trouble has shown up in terms of price increases," he wrote for Wells Fargo's blog. The prices for corn and soybeans, the main components of animal feed, have spiked nearly 100% in the past year, and supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic have made meat more expensive as well.
Data from the USDA shows that the price of chicken wings is up 14% for bone-in wings and 26% for boneless (otherwise known as glorified chicken nuggets). Swanson wrote that individually quick-frozen whole chickens are 26% more expensive than last year too.
If you're looking to bust out the grill, pork chops are 7% more costly, and that's the good news for meats. Steak is a dramatic 23% more expensive than last year, at a price of $11.06 per pound for USDA choice sirloin, according to the BLS. It's not much better for hamburgers, which are a whopping 17% more expensive than last year.
Drinks aren't faring much better. A 2-liter bottle of soda (pop, for Midwesterners) is going to run grocery shoppers 12% more than last year. Even a 12-pack of cans is 6% more expensive. And alcohol costs more too. Beer prices are up 4%, according to the BLS, while wine is up 3%.
If you're looking for the best bargains for the Big Game, Swanson recommends sticking to chips and guac, going with pork for your protein, and picking beer for the best bang for your buck.