Inflation has caused Americans to change their shopping habits as the cost of beef rises 20%
Rising food prices and shrinking portion sizes have forced Americans to change their shopping habits, new statistics reveal, with many now foregoing new options for their frozen counterparts as inflation is the highest for four decades.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index report, shoppers with incomes below $40,000 aren’t buying as much fresh meat and seafood at their local grocery store and are now switching to frozen foods or canned.
The report also found that consumers, adjusting to rising costs, are now choosing to buy more private label meats instead of more expensive and previously popular options, such as Boar’s Head and Tyson.
The price of beef rose 20.4% from a year ago, the report said, while poultry rose 13.4%, prompting some to buy smaller packs of meat, Joan Driggs said. , vice president of content at IRI, a market research company.
‘If you look at the meat business, [shoppers] going to browse through some of these packs until they find the lowest price,’ Driggs told Axios on Monday.
A social media user, meanwhile, told the outlet that rising poultry prices had forced her to start slaughter whole chickens instead of picking up its usual pre-packaged, to cut costs.
“Consumers are really savvy and they’re nimble when it comes to their eating habits,” Heather Garlich, senior vice president of communications for the Food Industry Association (FMI), told the outlet of the phenomenon.
Rising food prices and shrinking portion sizes have forced Americans to change their shopping habits, new statistics from the latest Consumer Price Index report have revealed.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index report, shoppers with incomes below $40,000 aren’t buying as much fresh meat at their local grocery store and are now turning to frozen or canned foods. Beef price up 20.4% from last year, data shows
Garlich’s claim is backed up by statistics, which show shoppers’ spending on food hasn’t kept pace with inflation.
The US inflation rate currently stands at 8.5%, the highest the country has seen since 1981.
According to an April market report from the IMF, household spending on groceries rose 4% on average in April – a sign that shoppers, especially low-income ones, are adjusting to the rapidly spurred cost hike by inflation.
Another phenomenon emerging as the U.S. dollar continues to appreciate is shrinkage – where companies keep prices the same, but reduce portion sizes, to increase their bottom line.
Charmin, Bounty, Gatorade, Crest, Wheat Thins, Quaker, Ziploc and Dial are among the notable brands that have “shrunk” their products in recent months.
“Downsizing happens in waves, and it tends to happen in times of heightened inflation,” Edgar Dworsky, consumer advocate and editor-in-chief of ConsumerWorld.org, told Quartz about the phenomenon, which has become increasingly prevalent as inflation rates rise.
Shoppers adjusting to higher prices are now buying smaller packs of meat, market experts say
“The bottom lines are pinched and there are three basic options: raise the price directly, take some of the product out, or reformulate the product with cheaper ingredients,” the consumer expert said.
Dwosky told CNN Business that rising production costs spurred by skyrocketing prices are behind the decline in shares.
“Downsizing happens in times of high inflation because companies that make everyday products also pay more for raw materials, production and delivery costs,” Dwosky explained of the advent. of downsizing.
The cost of food explains much of the country’s runaway inflation rate, with food prices rising nearly 9% from levels seen in 2021.
Notably, home-prepared food now costs 10% more than a year ago, consumer data has revealed, putting a strain on shoppers trying to save money by not eating. not at the restaurant.
In comparison, the average cost of restaurant and take-out meals year-over-year increased by 8 and 7.2%, respectively, according to the consumer price index.
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Rising costs of essential foodstuffs needed to prepare meals stem from increased demand for food products spurred by the supply chain issues, which disrupted harvests and labor costs.
According to consumer data, breakfast items like bacon and breakfast sausage increased by 18.2 and 16.5%, respectively, while crackers and baked goods also increased by 16.3%.
Other fats and oils, including peanut butter, increased 15.3%.
Pork prices also rose by 15.3% and fish prices by nearly 11%.
Milk, meanwhile, was up 13.3% and eggs 11.2%, the data showed.
Another phenomenon emerging as the US dollar continues to weaken is price contraction – where companies keep prices the same, but reduce portion sizes, to increase their bottom line. Notable brands that have reduced their products in recent months include Charmin, Bounty, Gatorade, Crest, Wheat Thins, Quaker, Ziploc and Dial.
Inflation triggered a 7% increase in the price of McDonald’s staple sandwich, the Big Mac, to an average price of $6.05, nearly 50 cents more than its cost last year.
As food prices soar, putting low-income shoppers at risk, other industries have seen similar bouts of inflation.
The price of gas rose 18.3%, a rise partially fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline currently stands at $4.13 – down from $4.33 in March – nearly double what it was
The cost of housing, meanwhile, increased by 5%, an increase that stems from the intensification of the real estate market which is experiencing a serious shortage of housing. The real estate and rental markets have been affected.
Prices for clothing and clothing also rose, according to consumer statistics, by 6.8%.
As food prices soar, putting low-income shoppers at risk, other industries have also seen similar inflation-spurred surges