Paying more: Grocery prices noticeably higher – and climbing
One look at your grocery bill and you know the cost of everything from milk to chicken is going up, and there is no end in sight.
The Consumer Price Index shows prices continuing to climb, so if it feels like you’re buying less but spending more, it’s because you are.
Consumer prices are up 5% from 2020, the worst inflation since the 2008 recession.
“I was buying actually at the Walmart grocery store. Shredded cheese I noticed went up because I like to make burritos,” said Michael Salay.
“I was like, man, the meat’s gone up. I only do BOGO on like meat and stuff,” said Jessica Harbord.
Shoppers have really noticed the increase in meat prices, but it doesn’t stop there.
“You can’t buy an orange for a buck. I mean, you’re paying $1.25 for an orange and you’re in Southwest Florida,” Salay said.
“Pretty much everything is getting higher,” said Jessie Williams.
Compared to early- to -mid-2020, you’re now paying 18.7% more for seafood. There has been a 7.5% increase for fruit, 5.1% for fresh meat, 3.1% for vegetables, 2.4% for cheese and 1.1% for eggs.
Prices only continue to increase because demand is up, shipping is slow and workers are in seriously short supply.
“It takes more money out of us that are retired all the time. You know, it gets to a point that what am I gonna eat?” said Fernande Benjamin.
These higher food prices are also hitting restaurants, which are being forced to eat the cost or pass the cost to their customers.
“And it costs 300, $400 to print menus every time there’s a price change. Now how to put market price on some items because the prices are changing on a weekly basis. Chicken wings went from $75 to $150,” said Chris Blauvelt with The Standard in downtown Fort Myers.
“Seafood pricing is anticipated to jump greatly in the next few weeks if not months. So we’ve already started to plan and take into account that if we need to be out or what the cost may be and adjusted on the menu,” said Steven She with Seed & Bean Market in downtown Fort Myers.
It’s not just local businesses feeling the heat. Last week, Chipotle hiked prices by about 4%, and according to The Wall Street Journal, Red Robin and Cracker Barrel increased by about 3%.