The Alert for Price Spikes (ALPS) detects abnormally high levels of local food prices for selected staple commodities and indicates the number of markets experiencing high food prices in a country. The ALPS allows comparison between markets at the same time and over different periods for the same market. A general assumption is that food prices begin to increase abnormally several months before their crisis level. In other words, an abnormal price increase generally leads to price crises. With the early detection of signs of looming food price crises, the ALPS can be used both to monitor market dynamics and to track food security changes.