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Expert: Grocery Shoppers Paying More And Getting Less

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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File Image (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

File Image (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The price of food is going up. Shoppers have noticed.

Debbie Golab of Sudbury says, “Milk, eggs, bread, the basic stuff has gone up.”

Joy Weiler agrees, “Everything, milk orange juice, everything has gone up. I just notice.”

And prices aren’t just going up. You may not realize it, but you could also be getting less.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

Peter Cohan calls it “stealth prices.” Cohan, who’s the author of Capital Rising and who teachers Business Strategy at Babson College, says manufacturers are dealing with higher costs, but don’t want to raise prices.

“Instead of making it obvious that they are asking you to pay more, they’re quietly reducing the amount they are putting into their packages.”

Cohan did an analysis of some Consumer Reports information, and found on average, manufacturers are cutting what’s in packaging by 12%. “You’re essentially paying more because you’re getting less.”

Why is food costing more?

Cohen says there are a number of factors. Demand is up in China and India. Supply is down because of a bad cotton and produce harvests. Gas prices will also drive up the cost of delivery.

How long will this last? Cohan says, “They can probably expect these stealth prices increases to keep going over the next six months. And there are two things they can do about it. One: they can think about consuming less. Another: buying in bulk. The prices are going to keep going up, so you want to lock in the lower prices as long as you can.”

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