Skip navigation
5 things
Will inflation ever go away.png

5 things: Will inflation ever go away?

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Using deals to combat inflation: In grocery stores, the portion of food sold on promotion has reached a level not seen since 2019, according to research firm NielsenIQ, but shoppers are still paying more than one-third more than they did then. “I almost had a heart attack the other day when I saw a box of cereal for $8.99,” said one shopper in this Wall Street Journal piece. High prices equal deals within grocery, including BOGO. But the deals are relative — For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 7, the average price for pretzels sold in supermarkets on promotion was $4, which is still 47% higher than the same period ended in 2019. Food execs claim consumers will get used to higher prices, but in the meantime, they’re still hungry for deals. —Chloe Riley

Health care is a tough business: They were going to take over the health care world, remember? A few years back, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid started to branch out into the health care sector. They already offered all the medicine one could need, so why not turn that into a one-stop-shop approach where customers could also see a doctor and get a quick diagnosis? It didn’t stop at the store level, either, as the big three retailers began purchasing third-party providers. However, it has not been all glamor and glitz, as pointed out by Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik. Walgreens got in trouble in the political arena when it said it would not sell abortion pills, and California Gov. Gavin Newsome countered by saying the state would stop doing business with the retailer. CVS ran into a Medicare mess in the state of New York, and Rite Aid has now declared bankruptcy. Hiltzik says they are all in it for the money, and that the consumer should approach with caution. It’s too soon to call the movement a failure, but some serious cleaning up needs to be done. —Bill Wilson

Laying down the law: California recently banned four common food additives — Red Dye No. 3, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propylparaben. Research conducted over the past few decades, primarily in animals, has linked the four chemicals to cancer, reproductive issues, and neurobehavioral concerns, such as hyperactivity. New York state legislators proposed a similar statewide ban earlier this year; that bill is currently pending. And the FDA is currently re-evaluating Red Dye No. 3 and brominated vegetable oil, which could lead to nationwide changes. So, what does this mean for grocery? If you’re operating in California, you need to pull all those products off your shelves, asap. But even if you’re not, this could soon be a nationwide movement, so take stock of your ingredients. —CR

Whatever happened to A&P? Those who grew up in the northeastern United States between the Great Depression and the 1990s would have remembered A&P grocery stores. A&P also became one of the first retailers to focus on discount pricing, and it eventually opened its first full grocery store in 1912. But the low prices and innovative thinking that fueled its ascension to one of the biggest companies in the country also eventually led to its demise, writes Tasting Table. Towards the end of its existence, A&P was criticized for its refusal to innovate. It stayed focused on basics like eggs and milk as other stores started offering more specialty products. Stores also retained a dated appearance and branding, even as higher-end stores like Whole Foods were popping up. After a second bankruptcy in 2015, A&P sold or shuttered all of its remaining stores. And the rest is grocery history. —CR

KFC, Popeyes, and…Walmart? Mention hot dogs, and someone always has to pipe up with how awesome those Costco dogs are. We’ve all been there. But is Walmart now the chicken meal go-to? It appears the retail giant has been getting some lip service lately regarding its deli hot bar, which frequently offers food at cheaper prices than KFC and Popeyes. Many have taken to social media to give their take on the Walmart offerings. One video focused on Walmart’s eight-piece chicken wing deal with potato wedges and mac and cheese for just $5.97. “Y’all thought I was joking when I said it, but I’m dead serious,” said the poster. “Stop giving these fast food places your money.” However, the quality appears to be spotty, as some on social media have claimed the chicken to be dry and other food looked like it had been out on the store floor for a while. If Walmart is going to be considered on par with other fast food favs, it also better find a spot for a drive-through window. —BW

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.