According to financial analysts, the U.S. economy is facing one of the worst periods of inflation since the recession—and it's coming to grocery stores, too.
Your weekly basket of staples could be getting a lot more expensive, even if you choose to shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi or Lidl. A combination of rising crop costs, resources, and freight shipping is going to affect all retailers as brands are forced to pass these costs onto consumers.
In an opinion piece for Bloomberg, columnist Conor Sen outlines how grocery stores across the nation are going to have to increase prices on groceries in order to combat rising costs elsewhere. And one of the first places shoppers may notice the increase is on private-label brands.
Sen writes that TreeHouse Foods Inc., a food manufacturer responsible for $6 billion a year in revenue making products for retailers' private labels that thrifty shoppers turn to in order to save money, will "pass on its rising freight and commodity costs" to shoppers by simply raising prices on the products on shelves.
Manufacturers and producers, particularly those who make private-label products that consumers have come to expect to be the most affordable on the market, have suffered steep declines in stock values as production costs increase elsewhere, Sen writes. Historically, they've lost out on making more profit because they've been reluctant to raise prices, but now they no longer have a choice.
"Makers of consumer packaged goods have been dogged by concerns that they're unable to raise prices, and because their input costs have been rising, their profits and stock prices have suffered as a result," Sen writes.
Once in-house store brands have raised prices, the rest of the market will likely follow, too, Sen explains—meaning name brands will also be getting more expensive.
It makes sense as to why retailers have tried their best to avoid raising prices—we've celebrated as chains like Aldi have pushed prices lower than ever before for things we buy every day, and we cheered when Amazon started to change Whole Foods' "whole paycheck" quality. But it seems like the days of price cutting may be numbered as the entire nation experiences hikes in the cost of living.