The Los Angeles Times reported that beef prices in the U.S. have hit an all-time high and aren’t expected to come down any time soon. The retail value of "all-fresh" USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record $5.28 a pound in February, up from $4.91 the same time a year ago. Meanwhile, coffee prices are up almost 70% YTD as the CRB Foodstuffs index itself is up approximately 20% YTD.
So, in today’s poll, we wanted you to sound off: Are you seeing higher prices at the grocery store?
The results weren’t even close—it was a total landslide. At the time of this post, the overwhelming majority agreed that food prices were rising with 93% voting YES and just 7% saying NO.
Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough tweeted today, “Freshly squeezed YTD highs in commodity #InflationAccelerating (CRB Index +10.7% YTD)…Coffee +3% rips another #InflationAccelerating move - eat an iPad.”
Of the loads of YES comments we received, here are a few that paint a clear picture:
- “Of course prices are higher. I don't ever expect them to come down, but ever increase. The problem is salaries aren't increasing at the same pace..”
- “Everything I buy is up. Fruit, vegetables, coffee, everything. My grocery bill on average is about 15% higher.”
- “Prices are higher. Period. And let's face some facts – if we notice, then the average American (who is far more important than the Wall Street crowd is) definitely notices. The key is not the fact that prices are up, but in that behavior is changing. People are trading down in where they shop. Less Whole Foods, more Trader Joe's. Anecdotally, it seems like the spread between the cost to eat at home vs eat out is compressing. Restaurants seem slower to pass through costs than supermarkets do. That can't be a good margin event.”
- “The prices are ridiculous. There seems to be no ceiling, which is the most frightening part.”
- “I am seeing SALE prices higher than the old regular prices.”
- “My strategy is to avoid the foods that are up big by substituting with other foods try to avoid inflation as much as I can.”
- “Higher food prices come not just from prices, but also less portion. Essentially, it's a double whammy, higher prices for less portion. The only thing I see that is experiencing deflation is Keynesian Crack. The Fed will acknowledge inflation when that is going up in prices.”
One of the only NO voters to explain their choice said this: “The prices on most of the things I buy [have] stayed about the same, including coffee but I'll be paying more attention now.”
But, it might be this YES voter who said it best, “Seriously, anyone who says NO does not shop, for anything!”