WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products again finished stronger in 2021, increasing 2.3% after an advance of 2.2% in 2020, 1.4% in 2019 and 0.4% in 2018. The gains followed declines of 0.5% in 2017 and 0.3% in 2016.

Overall, all 18 of the categories followed by Milling & Baking News finished higher for the year.

The price index for Bakery Products advanced 2.5% in 2021. The category posted increases of 2.4% in 2020, 1.8% in 2019, 0.8% in 2018 and 0.1% in 2016. The index was unchanged in 2017. Two segments within this category — bread and fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins — were introduced in 1998 with a base of December 1997. All other products are based on a 1982-84 average.

In the bread segment, the index increased 2% in 2021. The index increased 3.6% in 2020, 2.7% in 2019 and 0.6% in 2018 but was down 0.1% in both 2017 and 2016. Within the segment, white bread increased 1.1%. The index was 4.3% higher in 2020, 3% higher in 2019 and 0.1% higher in both 2018 and 2017. Bread other than white also finished stronger, increasing 2.9% after rising 3% in 2020, 2.9% in 2019 and 1.1% in 2018. The index was down 0.2% in 2017.

The index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies continued its upward climb, rising 2.6% in 2021 after two consecutive years of 1.3% gains. The index was up 1.7% in 2018, 0.4% in 2017 and 1% in 2016.

The CPI for other bakery products increased 2.5%, its third consecutive year-over-year increase, which followed three straight years of declines between 2016-18. In the other bakery products segment, fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts were up 2.1%; crackers and other cracker products increased 4.2%; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers rose 1%.

The CPI for Cereals and Cereal Products increased 1.7% in 2020, its third straight year of year-over-year gains after three consecutive year-over-year declines. Flour and prepared mixes advanced 2.3%, which comes on the heels of a 1.2% increase in 2020. Breakfast cereal increased 2.5% in 2021, which followed an increase of 1.3% in 2020 and 0.5% in 2019 but declines of 1.8% in 2018, 1.1% in 2017 and 1.1% in 2016. Rice, pasta and corn meal increased 0.6%, which followed increases of 2.5% in 2020 and 0.8% in both 2019 and 2018.

The CPI for fresh cakes and cupcakes rebounded from a decline of 0.9% in 2020 to post a gain of 3% in 2021. The index increased 2.4% in 2019, 2.2% in 2018, 1.4% in 2017 and 2.3% in 2016.

The index for cookies rose 1.4% in 2021, which followed gains of 2.1% in 2020, 0.9% in 2019 and 0.8% in 2018.

On a monthly basis, the CPI for baked foods and cereal products was stronger, rising 0.5% in December.

The December index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 297.3% of the 1982-84 average. For all food at home, the December index was 267.6, up 0.4% from November.

The CPI for Cereals and Cereal Products in December was 243.9, up 1.2% from November. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 248.3, up 0.7% from November; breakfast cereal, 241.6, up 1.4% from the previous month; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 251.4, up 1.1% from November.

The price index for Bakery Products in December was 328.1, up 0.1% from November.

The December index for bread was 200.5, up 0.1% from November. Under this heading, the CPI for white bread was 361.1, down 0.5% from November. For bread other than white, the index was 393.5, up 0.6% from November.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in December was 194.4, down 1.6% from November. The December index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 307.7, up 0.7% from November. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 328.7, down 0.9% from November; and cookies, 286.1, up 1.8% from the previous month.

The CPI for other bakery products in December was 291.3, up 0.6% from November. Under this heading, other price indexes in December included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 337.3, down 1% from November; crackers and cracker products, 341, up 3% from November; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 283.1, down 0.3%. MBN