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5 things: Here’s why grocery prices are so high

Here's 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Grocery sticker shock: Why are grocery prices so high? Well, it’s complicated. But to sum it up: Rampant inflation, global supply issues, unpredictable weather, and disease all impact price fluctuations, according to U.S. food magazine Bon Appétit. In fact, Supermarket News’ own Chloe Riley reports in Bon Appetit that 2022 saw grocery costs increase at an almost unprecedented rate: prices for food at home rose 11.4% last year—and that’s after spikes of 3.5% in both 2020 and 2021. But in the case of grain and eggs, for example, price hikes were due to unpredictable events like drought, tightening export restrictions from the war in Ukraine, and even bird flu. While the “supermarket scaries” have left us dreading the chore of food shopping, the good news is, prices should continue to come down to numbers we can actually stomach. —Alarice Rajagopal

Weakening the ‘Dollar’: Dollar General is fighting for its staying power in three Georgia state communities, as both Monroe and Newton counties have banned the development of DG stores. Residents were not happy with stores’ locations (dollar stores can be an eyesore), low wages, and the impact to traffic, among other factors. There are also allegations of new dollar stores in Georgia targeting black communities. Developers are now taking cities and towns to court over the dollar store blockade. Alana Sanders, Newton County 3 commissioner, delivered perhaps the quote of the month to Capital B media: “If you’re constantly putting box stores in these particular areas…are you saying [the residents] should stay in poverty and not have better living conditions?” —Bill Wilson

Riding the third wave: Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia played host to the annual Food Industry Summit earlier this month and as you might expect, Retail Media was widely discussed. Consumer loyalty expert Peter V.S. Bond and retail shopper marketing expert Bryan Gildenberg, collectively known as the CPG Guys, described it as “Digital Advertising’s Third Wave” and said third party platforms are driving optimization in advertising spending. Steve Henig, chief customer officer at Wakefern, explained that Wakefern’s retail media program has a strong understanding of shoppers and the products that interest them. He said the coop then shares those insights with the retail members to engage shoppers with targeted messaging across channels. He gave a great example of personalized media ads targeted to specific audience segmentations built from the Shoprite loyalty club member’s past purchase history. The program coordinated off-site display media, infeed social media, featured ads as the consumer is watching TV and digital ads placed on screens targeting consumers around ShopRite stores to promote both branded and private label items. —Ron Margulis

Wedding cake bells are ringing: Shoppers don’t just buy Wegmans cakes for birthdays…according to, its elevated cake line, “Ultimate Cake,” is totally usable for a wedding day cake hack (especially when the couple doesn’t feel like blowing their budget on cake). Wegmans Ultimate Cakes are double-layered and the large serves eight to 10 people — good for micro weddings or elopement. Grocers (not just Wegmans) can totally lean into this opportunity via marketing. Don’t just limit the idea of cake to birthdays, and offer tips on how to spice up simpler cake by decorating it with flowers. Additionally, encourage the addition of in-store baked goods for a dessert table. The sky’s the limit and the people don’t necessarily know what they want until you tell them. —Chloe Riley  

Groceries for a song: Who says the next great singer can’t be found in a Sprouts Farmers Market in Littleton, Colo.? It might be worth checking out just for entertainment purposes. Two cashiers, Molly and Norine, send music to shoppers’ ears while they sing announcements during their shifts. Norine is called “The Singing Grandma” and had worked at the Sprouts for six years when she thought it would be a good idea to perform. “Making somebody smile, making them laugh…when they clap their hands and [I know they] enjoyed it, that’s the biggest goal,” Norine told ABC Denver 7. Let’s all give a round of applause for these two colorful workers. —BW


2022 saw grocery costs increase at an almost unprecedented rate: prices for food at home rose 11.4% last year—and that’s after spikes of 3.5% in both 2020 and 2021. With inflation dragging, are you finding it harder to retain customer loyalty? What tactics have proven successful to keep traffic constant?

Let us know in the comments below or email your thoughts to the SN staff at contactus@ supermarket

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