JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Inflation, supply chains issues and the omicron variant of the coronavirus are contributing to the rising costs of food and other goods.
CNN reports overall grocery prices are up 9% from a year ago.
Some big-name brands that are raising prices, according to CNN, include Kraft Heinz, which announced hikes on Velveeta cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Maxwell House coffee and Kool-Aid; General Mills; and Campbell Soup.
Procter & Gamble also said it plans to raise prices for detergents like Tide, Gain and Downy and for personal care products. The company anticipates price increases for chemicals and other commodities this year.
The rising grocery prices come as shortages at U.S. stores have grown more acute recently as omicron and other issues have piled on to the supply chain struggles and labor shortages. The shortages are widespread, impacting produce and meat as well as packaged goods such as cereal.
Part of the scarcity consumers are seeing on store shelves is due to pandemic trends that never abated and are exacerbated by omicron. Americans are eating at home more than they used to.
CNN reports a survey found 37% of customers are very concerned about shortages.
Meanwhile, a key inflation gauge rose the most in 39 years. A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 5.8% last year, the sharpest increase since 1982.
According to CNN, experts are projecting more grocery price hikes in the coming months, so shoppers are advised to be on the lookout for sales and join store loyalty programs.
Winn-Dixie said it’s helping customers save on groceries by offering deeper discounts on more than 150 of what the grocery chain considers its most-shopped products. The grocery chain is calling it its “Down Down” program, which helps customers save more than 15% on average when shopping items that are marked in the store by red signs and tags.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.