Home 90 Years of Price Change Today In History Years and Decades

Cost Of Food

Food And Groceries the history price changes over 100 years

Our Decade Food Page include 50 plus prices for each decade taken from newspaper adds around the country

5 Prices from the 1920s

  • Cabbage 1 lb. 1920 WI
  • Cheese I lb. 38¢ 1926 New York
  • Chicken 1 lb. 39¢ 1925 New York
  • Codfish 1 lb. 29¢ 1924 WI
  • Pure Lard 5 lbs. $1.20 1920 WI

5 Prices from the 1930s

  • Spring Chickens 20 cents per pound Ohio 1932
  • Wieners 8 cents per pound Ohio 1932
  • Best Steak 22 cents per pound Ohio 1935
  • Pure lard 15 cents per pound Wisconsin 1935
  • Hot Cross Buns 16 Cents per dozen Texas 1939

5 Prices from the 1940s

  • Cauliflower 15 cents per head Pennsylvania 1948
  • Chicken 41 cents per pound New Jersey 1946
  • Doughnuts 15 cents per dozen New Jersey 1946
  • Eggs 64 cents per dozen New Jersey 1946
  • Flour 25 cents 5 Pound bag California 1944

5 Prices from the 1950s

  • Coffee 37 cents 1 pound
    Florida 1952
  • Cream Corn 3 cans for 38 cents
    California 1959
  • Frozen Chicken Pie 19 cents
    Ohio 1957
  • Frozen green Beans 24 cents per 1/2 pound
    New Hampshire 1950
  • Gerbers Baby Foods 10 cents
    California 1959

Food The Changes to Fast Food

Fast food has been designed to be eaten on the move and often do not require traditional cutlery. Common menu items at fast food outlets include fish and chips, Hotdogs, sandwiches, pitas, hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza, and ice cream.

Harry Ramsden's Fish n Chips 1928

Dairy Queen Ice cream 1940

Kentucky Fried Chicken KFC in 1952

McDonald's, the largest fast-food chain in the world did not appear until 1954

Burger King's first restaurant was opened in 1954

Wimpy 1954

Pizza Hut 1958

Domino's Pizza 1960

Taco Bell 1962

Subway sandwiches and salads 1965

Pizza Express 1965

Wendy's 1969

Potbelly Sandwich Works 1977

Fuddruckers 1980

Culver's 1984

Pret a Manger Sandwiches and salads 1986

Atlanta Bread Company 1993

One of the few posotives we can take from above is the growth in the Sandwiches and salad area in fast foods which does show more of us are at least trying to eat healthier even from fast food restaurants.

5 Prices from the 1960s

  • Heinz Ketchup 22 cents California 1966
  • Kraft Deluxe Dinner 39 cents Wisconsin 1963
  • Kraft Miracle Whip 51 cents Maryland 1960
  • Kraft Processed Cheese 39 cents 8 ounces California 1966
  • Macaroni and Cheese dinners 39 cents Wisconsin 1963

5 Prices from the 1970s

  • Fresh Grapes 69 cents per pound Illinois 1978
  • Fresh Strawberries 29 cents per pound California 1970
  • Fresh Turkey 43 cents per pound Ohio 1971
  • Grapefruit 99 cents for 10 California 1970
  • Ground beef 98 cents per pound Illinois 1978

5 Prices from the 1980s

  • Corn $1.18 for 12
    Pennsylvania 1981
  • Flour 99 cents for 5 pounds
    Pennsylvania 1981
  • White Sliced bread 50 cents
    Pennsylvania 1981
  • Grapefruit 33 cents
    New York 1988
  • Ground Beef $1.39 per pound
    New York 1980

5 Prices from the 1990s

  • Cherry Tomatoes $1.87 per pound Washington 1999
  • Chicken $1.05 Per pOund Wisconsin 1998
  • Clementines $5.99 for 5 pounds New Jersey 1996
  • Eggs Large grade A $1.05 per dozen Wisconsin 1998
  • Frankfurters $1.99 per pound New Jersey 1996

5 Prices from the 2020

  • (Sara Lee White Bread) $2.08
  • Potatoes (Russet) 78¢ Per pound
  • Bacon (Hormel 16 oz) $4.98
  • Sugar (4 LB) $1.74
  • Ground Beef (LB Lean) - $5.24 $5.24

convenience foods

The other major growth area in our food consumption has been the convenience foods

Convenience foods or processed foods are designed to save consumers time in the kitchen, reduce costs due to spoilage, and reduce costs using economies of scale. They require minimum preparation, typically just heating, and are packaged for a long shelf life with little loss of flavour and nutrients over time.

They typically are high in fat and calorie contents, and preservatives are almost always used. In general the cost is very low and they are quick to prepare, and because many are frozen they can be kept for longer periods of time.

In 1965 only 25% of foods consumed were fast food or convenience food but currently this is much closer to 70% and the associated problems with obesity continues to increase