NEW YORK — Product-cost inflation has been manageable so far, an executive from the nation's largest operator of traditional supermarkets told an investor conference here on Tuesday.
"The strategy is to pass inflation along, and so far, everyone is being pretty rational," said Michael Schlotman, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Kroger Co., Cincinnati, at the BMO Capital Markets 2011 Farm to Market conference here, although he conceded that pricing pressures vary somewhat by market.
He said it was still too soon to accurately assess how consumers were reacting to higher shelf prices, particularly since many had just been passed through in the last 30 days.
Schlotman reiterated previous projections that the company is estimating overall inflation at the shelf of about 1% to 2% for the year as part of its same-store-sales growth forecast of 3% to 4%.
Asked to comment on inflation in meat and poultry, Schlotman said that given the size of the hog and cattle herds, and the high price of corn for chicken feed, "I don't see anything out there that tells me the protein complex will have any easing in the level of pricing."