Oh joy, food prices are rising again! Staples like milk, sugar, meat, coffee, and cocoa have all gotten around 5 percent more expensive this year and food producers like McDonald's, Kellogg, and Kroger and plotting how to pass the price increases on to you.
Given these current hard times, food companies are probably not going to hand you the entire 5 percent increase, though -- maybe more like 2-3 percent. They'll cover the rest of the increase by cutting costs. Any sound business will always try to run a lean, mean company with no unnecessary costs. I can't help wondering if some of the cost cutting is going to result in lower-quality products for consumers.
Now you have another reason to start reading labels! I have an idea of what we can expect on grocery shelves in the future.
Wheaty Bitz, now with extra twigs! Your favorite high-fiber cereal just got an extra boost, thanks to the colon-cleansing power of free-range twigs, gathered from the Rocky Mountains and from our corporate headquarters grounds.
The MacLean Burger. Our heart-healthy option -- the same tasty burger, now wafer thin and fortified with healthy oxygen around the buns.
Uncommon Ground Coffee. Enjoy a rich, flavorful brew made with Robusta beans and the finest garden soil available in New Jersey.
DJ's Summer Lawn Ale. We capture the essence of summer with this beer made from American wheat and suburban grass clippings.
Little Donna's Angel Creams. Our Devil Creams just got saved! Soft vanilla-inspired sponge cakes with extra-large air pockets and a wee cream-like layer made from real soy beans.
Mac'n'Sneeze. Created by our most scatological minded 6-year-old boy customers, our new Mac'n'Cheese just got gooier and greener.
Foghorn Leghorn's Chicken Tickle Tenders. Our new feather-coated chicken tenders are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.
Yo-girth Skinny Squeezers. New portable yogurt squeezers come in pixie-stick fun size! Just like cigarettes, only less addictive and also they probably won't give you lung cancer.
Honestly, with so many mass-produced food products out there already made with cheap, low-quality ingredients, here's hoping food companies find other, non-ingredient ways to cut corners. Meanwhile, if you're looking to offset the rising cost of food, I recommend eating less meat, snacking on fruit, and cooking at home more often.
Image via blmurch/Flickr