Up to the collapse in the markets, they could argue for higher prices with sky-rocketing commodity prices for corn, wheat, and everything touched by corn and wheat/grains (i.e. just about everything - feed for meats, dairy, beer, and high-fructose corn syrup in everything else). Which was itself caused largely by the oil price near $150/barrel, and the horrific idea to produce fuel inefficiently from corn, in essence a corporate gimmy by the Bush administration for their friends at Archer-Daniels Midland and the larger agro lobby.
But when those commodity prices collapsed (oil went back down to $40/barrel), did they go back on those prices to more normal levels again? No. The grocers (and major food brands, think Kraft, General Mills, etc.) saw it as one of the last ways to extract money from the now crisis-shell-shocked consumer who was retrenching rapidly in their spending habits. But, as they say, people have got to eat...
Since then, things have only gotten worse, as re-portioning tricks (selling you a smaller amount in the same size container for the same price, etc.) as well as further price hikes have kept food inflation at around 8-9%! (See here: https://plus.google.com/112964117318166648677/posts/RUB57kbFkVD .)
But now it appears that grocers may have overstretched the bow so to speak:
Consumers are opting to eat out more, because it can actually end up being cheaper than cooking at home. Why? Because the restaurant and other food retail industries (think Applebee's, Chipotle, McDonald's) are able to bargain much more effectively in the market with their own suppliers, and everything has to be kept much closer to real, commodities-pricing-based market prices.
Your local grocer and the food brands industry: Another example of corporations (and the people they are composed of) acting as predators on their fellow (wo)man... thanks for nothing.
#inflation #food #ows /cc
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