“We haven’t seen anything yet”: Food prices continue to climb

If you think you’re paying more at the grocery store – you’re not wrong. Wholesale prices are at record highs and some items are scarce, CBS Los Angeles reports.

One woman said her grocery bill has been slowly climbing over the past few weeks. “The prices are just so high,” she said.

She’s not alone.

“Everything just seems to be a dollar to two dollars higher,” said shopper Kathleen Postal. “This creep has just happened and it’s very expensive.”

According to the Labor Department, wholesale prices jumped 8.3 percent from August of this year compared to August of 2020 — the biggest gain since the department started tracking those prices more than a decade ago.

“We haven’t seen anything yet,” said SuperMarketGuru.Com editor and food industry analyst Phil Lembert. “Prices are going to continue to go up for a good year and a half.”

“The biggest increases we will see has to do with anything with animals,” he said, “Whether it’s eggs or milk or pork or beef.”

Northern California wildfires have decimated their feed suuply.

General supply chain issues like bottlenecks at the Port of Los Angeles and labor shortages are also to blame.

“We have a huge problem with a lack of truck drivers,” Lembert said. “Refrigerated transport is up about 10.4 percent in cost.”

And as prices have increased, supplies have decreased.

“We’re just having a hard time finding the types of things we want,” Postal said.

CBS L.A. saw limited supplies of things like milk, butter, soda, snacks, paper products and baking supplies at stores it visited.

“Retailers who are filling out their orders to fill their shelves are not getting what they order,” Lembert said. “It’s estimated to be anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of what they order.”

Experts say it still pays to shop around. Shoppers may want to try independent grocers or stores with different business models like The Dollar Store or grocery outlets.