If you noticed your grocery bills have been more expensive than usual, it’s not just you. Unfortunately, it’s only set to get worse. Kroger has issued a warning about grocery prices rising through the end of the year. The grocer has been hit by higher costs this year and inflation is running very hot. This means prices are expected to rise 2% to 3% over the rest of 2021.
The grocer lost $138 billion in sales last year. Now, they’re battling this inflation issue. The component for food at home in the consumer price index has risen six months in a row. This year, it’s up 2.6%
Kroger isn’t the only one to Raise Prices
It’s not just Kroger that’s getting hit either. Albertsons companies inc is also getting hit with inflation and is worried about price increases. It’s especially bad news since consumers are already dealing with the highest price hike in groceries since 2008.
Meat is an especially large culprit for the issue. This is with beef prices rising 14% this year, pork prices jumping 12.1%, and Chicken also making a 6.6 % jump. The only items that really fell in price this month were veggies, with almost everything else experiencing a spike.
The inflation and subsequent hike in prices come with disruptions in the supply chain due to the coronavirus. There’s also a rising cost of shipping goods. However, the Biden Administration has beef with the meat industry.
The Biden Administration is Taking Action against the Meat Industry
“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products [beef, pork and poultry], and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic,” Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, said on Friday.
The administration believes these companies are partially to blame for the rise in costs. Therefore, Deese also told the press that they are taking action, hoping to level the playing field for farmers and ranchers and take some weight off consumers.
“The administration is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country,” he said.
While the Biden administration fights meat conglomerates and the international supply chain tries to get back on track, consumers still need to get their groceries at Kroger or elsewhere. It appears that private label foods are best when it comes to avoiding the price surge.
“If you go back to prior times when you had inflation, the customer, a lot of times, would trade over to our brands as part of their structuring their budget,” Kroger CEO William McMullen explained. “We’re not seeing budget changes on our brands happening at this point.”