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Consumers concerned about increasing prices

By
Craig Levitt

Produce prices are higher than they have been in decades — and shoppers are taking notice. According to the most recent IRI/210 Analytics report, 90 percent of primary shoppers are aware of the inflation and 91 percent are extremely (41 percent) or somewhat (51 percent) concerned.

Year-to-date, prices for total fresh produce are about 6 percent higher than they were last year. Inflation for fruit is above average, up 8.2 percent year-to-date through Nov. 28. Fruit prices during November 2021 were 11.9 percent higher than in November 2020. In response, 61 percent of consumers have made changes to their grocery selection. Looking for money-saving measures, including stocking up, is the most common response, followed by cutting back on non-essentials.

“Supply chain challenges continue to affect fresh produce pricing and availability,” said Joe Watson, vice president of membership and engagement for PMA, also partners in the report. “Fresh produce certainly is not alone in this but shoppers are also more fluid than I have ever seen before in switching between fresh, frozen and shelf-stable, which means inflation and promotional levels in those other areas can affect the fresh purchase more than ever.”

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