June 10, 2023


Food loaded for bear

Food price increases concern many grocery store shoppers in the Philadelphia region

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — If you’ve noticed a higher bill at the grocery store lately, you’re not alone.

Food prices in the Philadelphia region have gone up over the past year, and experts say that trend is likely to continue.

Food marketers say companies are jacking up prices trying to recover from COVID, there are supply chain issues because of worker shortages, and more people are cooking at home.

“I know what I need, how I need it, why I need it, and when I need it,” said Marcedia Simmons from Overbrook. She says she always plans before she makes the trip to the grocery store.

In Philadelphia, the average price of food went up about 1.6% between August 2020 and 2021. The price of meats, poultry, and fish was even higher than that, with a nearly 9% raise.

“Your average grocery bill may go up every time you go shopping, a few dollars,” said Dr. John Stanton, a professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University.

He says buying on sale is the best way to save and also recommends buying store brands over name brand products.

“They’re significantly less, and they are not significantly less quality,” Stanton said.

Stanton adds now is the time to start planning for the holidays.

“Especially if it’s canned or frozen, you’re going to be able to take advantage of those sales,” he said.

Some shoppers, however, say with prices so high, it’s hard to start buying in advance.

“It’s too high. I’m on a fixed income, so I have to go along with my income,” said Lenora McKiethen from Overbrook.

While most food prices have risen, prices for fresh fruits and vegetables have decreased this past year by almost 5%.

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