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Grocery stores see prices for customers increasing in 2022

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 12:00:47-05

MENTOR, Ohio — A recent trip to the grocery story likely made a bigger dent in your wallet.

Data from the USDA shows around a 6% increase in monthly food costs for individuals from the beginning of 2021 to the end of the year.

These prices are causing shoppers and store owners who spoke to News 5 to rethink their habits.

For Mentor Family Foods co-owner P.J. Conway, the price increases across the board present a difficult scenario.

“As the price goes up, you really don’t want to raise it because you’re afraid of losing a customer,” Conway explained. “So you start not keeping as much inventory on hand because you don’t know how much you’re going to sell.”

Bill Kosteas serves as Associate Dean and professor of economics at Cleveland State University and points to issues such as COVID-19 shutdowns at food processing facilities, as well as transportation and energy prices as key issues that could further impact prices going forward.

“If food prices are going up faster than your income, that’s when you have a problem,” he said. “Prices that really went up a lot were meat, fish, poultry and eggs; those had an over 10% increase.”

For Conway, he told News 5 he’s preparing for another price hike in products ranging from anywhere from 8-10% by the end of the summer.

“If you just buy the stuff you need and buy a little ahead and keep your pantry full, you’re not going to get hurt that bad,” he suggested to shoppers. “You’re beginning to see more and more of a spiral up. You’re beginning to see more companies not eating the price increase.”

You can use the calculator below to see the Department of Agriculture's estimated low-cost food budget for your family, based on the USDA's Dec. 2021 food report.