Are grocery prices drilling a hole in your pocket?

Hampshire County

You may have noticed you’re paying more for your groceries. New research finds food prices increasing much faster than raises in your paycheck. 

“Everyday that I go out for any kind of lunch foods or anything like that, it’s another .50-cent or another .75 or a dollar more and it starts to add up,” said Scott Belanger of Greenfield. Belanger continued, asking 22News “Who do I complain to?” 

According to a recent study by USA Today, the price of food has increased nearly 27-percent over the past 10-years, outpacing the inflation rate by nearly 5-percent. Forcing retailers to cover the cost to pass it along to its customers. 

“If our cost goes up a nickel, retail goes up a nickel,” said Richard Cooper.

The cost of food is subject to change, based on several factors; weather, disease outbreak and what consumers are preferring these days. 

Bread, pasta and baked goods all cost more because grains have increased more than 31-percent, over the last decade. Butter and margarine saw one of the biggest increases with a nearly 55-percent jump in price. The owner of State Street Fruit Store in Northampton &  Cooper’s Corner in Florence believes he knows why. 

“I think a lot of the price increases are seasonal. So for example, milk and milk by-products tend to go up in the summertime, because more of those are diverted to ice cream. Fuel prices are a big factor, its causes all suppliers to have to increase their prices,” said Cooper.

The consumer item with the biggest increase was tobacco, which rose more than 92-percent, after a federal tax hike in 2009.  

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