The cost of putting food on the table across the world and over the years

Prices of food items could vary drastically across countries. In this data story, we investigate how the composite food price index and prices of 5 commodities evolve over time.

Based on the composite food price index released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food prices in continents including South America and Africa are among the highest compared to the rest of the world since 2015. While the ranking for Asia hasn’t changed much for the past two decades, food prices in North America, Europe and Australia most recently have been the lowest.

Food prices have reached an all time high around the world.

Play the animation below to see how food prices have evolved in the last two decades between 2000 and 2021. You would notice that Venezuela's food prices are astronomical compared to the rest of the world.
Prices are soaring at a much faster pace for South America and Africa. Interact with the gradient table to view the level of food price index by continent or by year. See how the continents change position each year.
Let's take a look at how prices of different commodities vary across countries. There are 5 major commodities that the consumer price index is measured with. They include: Cereal, vegetable oil, sugar, meat and diary.

Select a country from the dropdown menu to view how the commodity prices differ.
Now, let's have some fun and do some shopping.

Populate the checkboxes of items that you wish to purchase and see how the cumulative total differ by country.
Let's dive deeper into the time-series of major commidities. Overall, the prices have risen with the exception of the miscellaneous category.
Let's perform further investigation at the sub-commodity level. You may be surprised by how many sub-categories there are in each major commodity category, particularly the number of rices under cereal.
Do you like to barbaque? Let's take a look at the meat category.
At last, let's also look at how seasonality affects prices across the major commodity groups.

About this data story

This data story was inspired by our travels and observing how prices could vary significantly depending on where you are in the world. It aims to raise the general public's awareness on the rising food prices.

Thank you for visiting and we hope you learned something about the consumer food price indices and how they could be used to gauge the affordability of food in different countries.


Frances Leung | Allie Ayrapetyan | Allison Schlissel | Autumn Rains


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | FAO

- April 2022-