ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — Food-price inflation could be much more severe and more prolonged than many people are now predicting, according to a presentation yesterday by the Food Institute here and consulting firm Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill. “We don’t think a quick retreat is likely,” said Jim Hertel, managing partner at Willard Bishop, during the “Future of Food Retailing” webinar. Citing “structural changes” in supply and demand, he projected that inflation would be a major force in the food retailing industry for the next three years, putting pressure on poorly positioned operators and causing market-share volatility as weaker players succumb. “If you are a retailer, you must have a winning price image,” he said, citing the importance of multi-tier private-label programs as part of a solution. Many supermarkets were well-positioned to handle ongoing inflationary pressures, he said, but he predicted it will be increasingly difficult for them to pass on cost increases and preserve margins.
Read More of Today's Headlines