Expert: Grocery Shoppers Paying More And Getting Less

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

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.”

  • Cynic

    A can of Tuna is down to 5 onces and the price has doubled. Will we reach the point where we get an empty can for $10.00?

  • Cynic

    I forgot to mention…That 5 onces is mostly water.

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  • emom

    WOW and it took so long ot figure out,,, like htis has been going on for about 6 months or more, its also going on in resturants,, have you seen how small the donuts are at the local coffee shops… and the coffee is not as big as before,, yeah like its noticable/

    • Ron

      I stopped by Dunkin Donuts last week and kept double checking my bag. I couldn’t believe 2 donuts were in there. While they used to give you donuts bigger than Krispy Kreme ever did (while they were still around), these last few times my donuts have been MUCH smaller.

  • Ron

    Since this has been going on for years, WHY should we believe the ‘another six months’ line? It’s been over 5 years since ice cream first went from 2 qt to 1.75 and the drop to 1.5 qt has been around more than a year. Over 2 years ago I stopped buying Cadbury dark chocolate bars when I bought one w/ the newly designed packaging and found I still had one w/ the old label design in the cupboard. I held them side-by-side and saw the bar was smaller and then noticed the text indicating ounces had shrunk even more than the bar itself.

  • emom

    Ron agree, I noticed this over a year ago with the resturants and coffe shops, and its only getting worse. But give it another 6 months people will except it and then all of a sudden they will introduce a NEW SIZE, but it will cost you more ,, and with that you will gladly pay for the larger size , OH BUT WAIT its the old size you once where use to but they managed to convience you that its a new size and you fall for it, JUST wait you will see..

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