Local shoppers face biggest grocery price increase in nearly 50 years

Local shoppers face biggest grocery price increase in nearly 50 years

Olivia Sandusky

As local shoppers roll their way to the grocery store, they may experience sticker shock over everyday items.

“I’ve noticed higher prices. A couple of weeks now the prices have gone up, a dollar here a dollar there,” said Joseph Potts, a grocery shopper from Palm Desert.

From March to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds grocery store prices rose 2.6 percent, the largest increase since 1974.

“But the reality is a lot worse than 2.6 percent. If we take a look at last week versus a year ago, we have some double digit increases,” said Phil Lempert, the supermarket Guru.

Topping the list for April’s increase, eggs rose 16.1 percent, pork roasts and ribs increased 10.1 percent and ground beef jumped almost 5 percent. All other price changes can be found here.

“The beef prices are definitely higher than I’ve ever seen,” said Shirley Mammoth, a grocery shopper from Thousand Palms.

Demand has increased during stay at home orders, but experts say there are a variety of reasons behind the surge.

“The meat production in this country is only about 40% of what it was before all of these closures, so that’s going to have an effect on supply. Every supermarket has now Plexiglas in it, a guard outside to make sure you’re wearing a mask, so we have a lot more expenses than we did prior to COVID-19,” said Lempert.

Ordering groceries online also has added expenses like a delivery charge and tips, and Lempert says these increases could be long term.

“Prices are going to go up for the next year, even more, and we’ve got to get used to the new normal. by eating at home more, I think it will probably balance out,” said Lempert.

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