Grocery Prices Comparison

Grocery Prices Comparison

Angelina Fowler, Writer

According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual cost of food per a person in the US was $2,645 in 2013. The average American household spends less than 10% of its income on food, which is less than any of the countries that the USDA tracks for data. This doesn’t mean that other countries spend more money on food, just more of their total income. In fact, US food prices are among the top in the world. To see just how high our food prices are, we can compare them to India, where average person spends $220 a year on food. This is among the lowest in the world, but 25.2% of consumer expenditure. We will use the prices of food in Apple Valley as example for the US, and the prices of food in Mumbai, the wealthiest city in India, as example for India.

According to Numbeo, consumer prices as a whole in Apple Valley are 167.46% higher than in Mumbai. Groceries prices are 158.85% higher. Let’s use water, a human necessity, as an example. In Apple Valley, the average price for a single water bottle is $1.26, while in Mumbai it would cost $0.16, a nearly 550% difference. A less drastic difference in prices is demonstrated by a gallon of milk, which costs $3.92 in Apple Valley and $2.78 in India, about a 30% difference.

Basic food items also show the dramatic difference in prices around the world. A loaf of bread in Apple Valley costs about $3.00, while a loaf of bread in Mumbai costs about $0.38, a difference of over 684%. An apple that costs approximately a $1.75 here costs approximately a dollar in Mumbai. A pound of chicken in Apple Valley costs about $4.65 while in Mumbai it costs $1.67.

However, there are areas in the food industry where prices are higher in Mumbai, mostly alcohol. In Apple Valley, the average bottle of wine costs $9.00. The average bottle of wine in Mumbai costs $9.19, a difference of about 2%. A small bottle of beer in Mumbai costs $3.19 in Mumbai and $2.12 in Apple Valley, a difference of over 30%.

Taking into consideration that Mumbai is the wealthiest city in India, it is especially amazing how drastic the economy gap can be between two countries. Imagine what it might be like in the poorer parts of India, or of the world in general.