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Well, it finally happened. Your neighborhood grocer for everyday low-cost, high-quality groceries, alongside other food retailers, has raised its prices.
As grocery costs continue to skyrocket with high demand and high cost of production for staple products everywhere, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that some businesses have to make tough decisions. And while there are quite a lot of instances of suspected “greedflation” (advantageous price gouging surreptitiously hidden in other rising costs) flying under the radar during a time of heightened supply chain issues, the inflationary pressure of, frankly, almost everything, may be more to blame.
Trader Joe’s has built a brand around prioritizing its customers. The mission of the company, according to its About Us page, states, “We are committed to providing our customers outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices.” Though it’s fair to still be skeptical.
The financial blog Grow by investment company Acorns compared the price of staple goods at Trader Joe’s against other low-cost competitors ALDI, Walmart, and Target. It found that the cost of four common purchases far exceeded that of other similar retailers. For example, three pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast, which clocked in around $9 for the other grocers, rings up for $18.80 at Trader Joe’s – more than twice as much.
Could it be because consumers already expect to pay more during a period of notoriously high inflation? According to assistant professor of finance at Boston College Francesco D’Acunta, people are less likely to blame the company for driving up prices at this time.
“Prices are increasing all around consumers, so this idea of punishing the retailer for increasing prices is not there,” he told Grow.
No matter the reason, prices have noticeably gone up over the past year, anywhere from ten-cents to a couple dollars. If that doesn’t sound like much, we can talk percentages. A thirty-cent increase on a $3 product is a 10% price hike – which is in line with data from the Consumer Price Index’s May 2022 analysis (a 10.1% increase for “food at home”), but is still a daunting number, especially when considering that groceries are a necessity.
Whether these rate hikes are temporary or the new normal, that remains to be seen. A post by the blog Simple Grocery Deals recorded specific price changes for the Hawaiian-themed grocer as of February 2022 to help inform consumers about the rising costs they’re bound to see at the store. While prices vary by location, these are five of the items you’re paying more for.