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Food prices expected to rise up to 4% in 2022

Food prices expected to rise up to 4% in 2022
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2022 at 7:41 PM EDT
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Chesterfield, Va. (WWBT) - Shoppers are being forced to go back to the drawing board, hoping not to overspend at the grocery store.

A USDA report released in March predicts a 3.0-4.0% increase in food prices at grocery stores in 2022. The soaring pricing is causing frustrations for customers.

“I used to pay about $75 a week [for groceries]. Now, it’s about $135 a week. Yeah, it’s almost double,” Deborah Winston said after shopping at Kroger.

Winston said she’s sacrificing items usually on her list to stay within budget.

The USDA predicts dairy products to increase between 4.0-5.0%. Meat, fish, and poultry could jump between 3.5-4.5%.

“It’s about what factors into inflation,” Bob Kelley, professor of management at VCU’s School of Business, said. “It’s about what we pay our people to work. So, it’s labor. It’s the cost of goods. So, talking about packaging costs, ingredient costs.”

Kelley adds rising fuel costs and high demand are also to blame for the rising costs.

Meanwhile, restaurants are trying to keep up. The USDA predicts restaurant prices will climb up to 6.5% percent.

“[Fish] was priced $4.99 a pound pre-covid and through covid mostly,” Ari Augembaum, executive chef at Soul Taco, said. “As of last week, it was priced at $7.99 a pound, and so we’re seeing a 75% increase in costs of goods just on the fish alone in that one taco.”

He’s trying to keep customers from paying more by eating the costs themselves. It’s a sacrifice he said may not last much longer.

“We’ve looked at it as these are short-term supply chain issues that we believe will end in the near future, but every time we keep saying ‘the near future,’ the future keeps getting extended and extended,” he said.

Kelley said it’s unclear when groceries will drop back to average prices. He encourages shoppers to consider buying store brands and/or use coupons to save.

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