How Will Trump's Tariffs Impact Restaurant Food Costs? | Food Newsfeed
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How Will Trump's Tariffs Impact Restaurant Food Costs?

August 09, 2018
A wedge of cheese on a board with bread.

Assess the costs

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Pexels/NastyaSensei Sens
Assess the costs

President Donald Trump’s tariffs are a hot-button topic everywhere. But how will they impact food costs? Plate IQ, a San Francisco-based technology company that helps restaurants improve and automate their invoice and back-of-house processes, analyzed more than 500,000 invoices per month from July 2017–July 2018. This included 4 million data points per month. By examining this data, Plate IQ predicted how retaliatory tariffs on certain food groups would impact food costs from March 2018–December 2018.

Here were the results:

Corn

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Plate IQ
Corn

China imposes tariffs on corn and corn products out of the U.S., EU followed suit by imposing a 25 percent tariff on corn as well. This makes the prospects for the prices going down as well as the local quantity available going up.

Plate IQ predicts this will lead to a 12 percent decrease in price, saving U.S. restaurants $3,068,633 (March 2018–December 2018).

Pork

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Plate IQ
Pork

The U.S. pork industry is being targeted especially hard by China, introducing a 25 percent tariff in April and an additional 25 percent in July. Mexico has followed introducing tariffs on pork as well imposing up to 20 percent tariff on pork and pork products. The high tariffs would mean lesser exports and hence surplus of quantity for the U.S. These tariffs could lead to loss of more than $2 billion on an annual basis.

Plate IQ predicts this will lead to a 2–3 percent decrease in price for all pork products and 7.7 percent decrease in the price of bacon, saving restaurants $14,876,829. (March 2018– December 2018)

Apples

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Plate IQ
Apples

Mexico being the biggest customer for apple exports from the U.S. has hit the U.S. hard by imposing tariffs on apples. China and India have also imposed tariffs on apples thus threatening the market. The timing could not be more unfortunate with rumors of an above average yield for the apple farmers.

Plate IQ predicts due to a surplus yield the price of apples will decrease, saving restaurants $991,570–$1,442,283 (March 2018–December 2018).

Cheese

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Plate IQ
Cheese

Mexico buys about a quarter of U.S. cheese products making Mexico America’s largest export market for cheese. But with the tariffs being applied that may be changing. U.S. cheese makers are concerned that they might have large amounts of wastage and losses with the new tariffs being introduced. With marginal losses that are mostly absorbed by the time it reaches consumers, we predict a high quantity being produced that might eventually drive the prices down.

Plate IQ analyzed 173 cheese items and predicts that consumers will see a decrease in price, saving restaurants $1,480,445– $1,825,882 (March 2018–December 2018).

Potatoes

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Plate IQ
Potatoes

Mexico is imposing a 20 percent tariff on frozen French fries from the U.S. Those exports to Mexico were worth $137 million in the 2017 calendar year, with Washington state supplying $36.9 million. With large stakes in the Mexican trade this commodity will be seeing a drop in prices—though the government has adopted relief measures to help farmers but a long term tension of this sort could permanently damage the potato industry

Plate IQ predicts that consumers will not bear any impact at all and restaurants will save $6,908,744 (March 2018–December 2018).

Seafood

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pexels/Terje Sollie
Seafood

The situation in the Seafood industry is such that US consumption of Seafood comes from a complex chain where primarily U.S. exports to china for processing and then receives imports of the processed seafood. China in this situation held back on a lot of items that US was exporting to them and the US tariffs placed on Chinese exports of seafood do the damage.

Plate IQ looked at data from Crabmeat, Tuna, Pollock Fillet, and Haddock and predicted that due to China and the US’ complicated relationship and increased tariff pricing seafood will see an upward trend in prices and a decrease in supplies, costing restaurants between $144,754–$18,505,565 (March 2018–December 2018).