The war in Ukraine is being felt economically by U.S. consumers primarily at the gas pump as fuel prices surge at the fastest pace since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
But don’t overlook the war’s impact on food costs.
You may not know this, but Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of the world’s traded wheat. And wheat prices are up more than 50% since Russia invaded its neighbor.
How might that affect what’s on your table and in your pantry? Here are just some of the foods that can have wheat as an ingredient:
Baking powder, bread, cereal, coffee substitutes, instant cocoa, chicken and beef broth, granola, gravy, ice cream, meat, pie filling, pudding, seasonings, sauces, snack foods.
Oh, and beer.
In January, according to the International Monetary Fund, average food prices jumped by 7.8% — the highest level in seven years.
The sudden global wheat shortage is expected to be felt first among developing nations that may lack the buying power of their more-developed cousins.
But if the hostilities in Ukraine continue, America and other economic heavyweights will feel the pinch as well. And it’s a near certainty that food producers will pass along their higher costs to consumers.
Keep that in mind the next time you get a hankering for Wheat Thins.