- Grocers stock items like frozen meat, cleaning products, and sugar.
- The nation’s largest grocery wholesaler has bought up to 20% more inventory, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- The US food supply chain is already grappling with transportation and labor costs.
Grocery stores stock food and other items in anticipation of rising prices and demand.
Paul McLean, director of merchandising at Stew Leonard’s, told Insider that the supermarket chain was buying 50% more stock than usual and that it had “bought ahead whenever possible” to protect consumers. margins. He specifically mentioned the purchase of more paper products and imported products like pasta sauce, pasta and olive oil.
“We are buying more ingredients for home cooks, including flour and spices,” McLean said. “We also pre-purchase cleaning supplies for the fall and back to school.”
McLean added that they have seen an increase in sales of lobster, shrimp, premium meats and organic products, with sales of frozen foods increasing by 20% in the past year.
Some grocery stores are having trouble getting everything they’ve ordered from vendors, the Wall Street Journal first reported on Tuesday. “It could make a bad situation worse,” Mark Griffin, president of B&R Stores Inc., told the Journal.
Stew Leonard’s doesn’t expect a substantial price increase anytime soon. “We maintain our prices for the most part,” McLean said. “Since we buy direct, there has been no disruption in our supply of fresh produce like fresh produce, meat and fish. “
Grocery store storage puts additional pressure on an already fragile U.S. food supply chain, which is currently struggling with labor shortages and high shipping costs.
From lumber and chicken wings to Starbucks drinks, product shortages have continued as the US economy reopens. Shortages are just a result of skyrocketing shipping costs, as maritime commerce continues to recover from the pandemic.
A leading economist told Bloomberg that people may be underestimating how much the shipping crisis will raise the prices of consumer goods, Grace Dean reported for Insider.
Some grocery stores are raising product prices to minimize losses, the Journal reported.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food in May was up 0.4% from April, which means that on average, the purchase of food has become slightly more expensive in recent months.