American consumers are already feeling the pinch of rising food prices, and they will likely experience more—courtesy of California's devastating drought.
"I would expect a 28 percent increase for avocados and 34 percent for lettuce," said Timothy Richards, a professor of agribusiness at Arizona State University who conducted research released this week on probable crop price increases stemming from the ongoing drought.
In a phone call with CNBC.com, Richards added that the price increases would also include foods including berries, broccoli, grapes, melons, tomatoes, peppers and packaged salads. The higher rises should be felt in the next two to three months, he said.
To come up with his figures, Richards used retail-sales data from the Nielsen Perishables Group, an industry analytics and consulting firm, to estimate how much the prices might vary for the fruit and vegetable crops most likely to be affected by the drought.
Those most vulnerable are crops that use the most water or those sensitive to reductions in irrigation, according to Richards.