Shoppers, retailers grappling with high grocery prices across the region

Trish Hartman Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
Shoppers, retailers grappling with high grocery prices
Shoppers, retailers grappling with high grocery prices across the region

MARLTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Monica Knapp of Marlton does a lot of grocery shopping, not just for herself but for her mother and mother-in-law too who are both in their 90s.

She's trying to stretch every dollar.

"I came here especially for the water because it's cheaper here. I shop at three or four different stores," said Knapp.

At Rastelli Market Fresh in Marlton, shoppers fill their carts while looking at price tags.

"They had gone up for a while but now they seem to be leveling out, so it's not as bad as it was," said Jessica Amato of Marlton.

In the past two weeks, management at the market says they've lowered prices on about 1,000 items, saying many of their customers are stretched thin after months of high prices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area are up 2.4% from last year. That's double the increase other major U.S. cities saw on average.

The biggest culprits for our area are fruits and vegetables. Non-alcoholic beverages also saw a much larger increase than the rest of the country.

But it's not all bad news for us. The price of cereals and baked goods, meats, fish and eggs have gone down since last year in our area.

Experts from St. Joseph's University say supply chain issues and fuel costs continue to plague the industry and will likely continue in the coming months.

"Just as it's costing consumers extra in fuels and in electric, it's costing our food manufacturers more as well," said John Stanton, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph's University.

To keep the cost down, Stanton says shoppers can consider store brands, stock up when things are on sale, shop around at different stores, and always shop with a list.