How Much Has Inflation Driven Up The Cost Of Gumbo?
With cooler temperatures on the way and Louisiana residents looking longingly at their gumbo pots, it's almost time to light the fires and make your roux. But, with inflation still bringing up the cost of food across the country, the cost of making that pot of gumbo has gone up, too.
Whether it's chicken and sausage, duck, or seafood, your trip to the grocery store to make this staple of Louisiana cooking may cost you a bit more. But how much?
From August 2021 to August 2022, flour was up at least 23.3%. So, you're looking at more than 50 cents per 5 lb. bag of flour over the course of the year. Meanwhile, cooking oil has been running high, as well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing it up 21.5% since last year. Meanwhile, FoodDive reported that Crisco raised prices 23% to help cover costs. So, if you plan on buying a 1-gallon jug of Crisco pure vegetable oil, which is currently around $12.15, you're paying more than two dollars more than you did for it last year.
The Chicken and Sausage
Bad news if chicken and sausage gumbo is your jam in the fall. Eat This, Not That! reported back in June that the price of poultry is actually out-pacing inflation.
Chicken prices are estimated to rise over 15% for the year – higher than general inflation – and they might not stop there. It's true that avian flu outbreaks posed a temporary, devastating blow to the supply of poultry.
Now there's another reason to suspect that the price increases will continue. Despite anti-trust regulations in the poultry industry, Forbes reported that a $4.5 billion merger between two of the biggest chicken producers, Cargill and Continental Grain and Sanderson Farms, was approved by the Department of Justice.
The most recent BLS report has poultry at 16.1%. Meanwhile, pork is up about 6% over last year. In some stores, a 1-pound package of andouille sausage is between $6 and $6.15, meaning you could be paying as much as $0.50 more than you did last year.
Seafood across the board has risen sharply in the last year. Seafood is up 16.8 percent in July versus a year ago, data and tech firm Numerator told SeafoodSource. "Frozen seafood grocery prices also soared 14.4 percent versus a year ago," Seafood Source said, "but shrimp and prawns are below the average rate of inflation, rising 8.5 percent."
So while seafood gumbo has always been the more expensive gumbo you could make, this year it's might be priced out of some folks' range.
Yes, even fresh vegetables have been impacted, with an average cost increase of more than 7%. The good news is those vegetables are probably the cheapest item on your recipe card for the old family recipe for gumbo.
Rice has seen one of the bigger jumps in price from 2021 to 2022, rising 13% over the course of the year, last August to this August. The good news is that it's still relatively cheap, just not as cheap as last year. You can still buy a giant bag and, depending on how much you plan on cooking, it could last you a while.
Should This Stop You?
Your mileage may vary, but a good pot of gumbo is always worth it. Still, if the cost of things has you worried right now. A report from late August even suggested that it might be cheaper to eat out rather than dine in. But, on the list of foods you can make, one pot of gumbo goes further along than most.