Will Grocery Prices Fall As Gas Prices Plummet?

The high cost of groceries is making it more difficult to get food on the table.

It has one WBZ viewer curious: Seth from Somerville asks, “When are food prices are going to come back down since everyone was blaming higher fuel prices for their increase.”

We put that question to marketing expert Bruce Weinberg, who’s a professor at Bentley University. “Great question to ask,” he says.

“Maybe the prices weren’t going up as quickly as we thought. It could be that a lot of the manufacturers and supermarkets were actually holding the line and absorbing the higher costs and not passing it on, to keep their customers.”

Weinberg says fuel costs only account for 5 to 10 percent of food prices. Now that they’ve gone up, he says it’s not likely they’ll drop back down.

A spokesperson for Shaw’s Supermarket tells WBZ customers are using more coupons, and choosing lower-priced options.

She also says they’re getting more business from people who used to eat out at restaurants more often, but are now cooking at home instead.

The store has launched a campaign aimed at helping customers plan low-budget meals.

“I wouldn’t expect to see a price drop, but I would tell consumers this: you can walk with your pocketbook. You’d be surprised at the power that you can have by doing that,” says Weinberg.

© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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