Local grocer talks about food price increases
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you think prices at the grocery store are high now, buckle up. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expecting prices at the store to increase even more this year.
Many have seen the soaring prices at the big box stores, but some local markets aren’t needing to mark up as much.
“Initially when we started seeing prices rising, it didn’t really affect us much because we were working with these small farmers, they already developed their own market pricing,” said Justin Petruff, a managing partner for Local Source Market & Grocery. “They’re not shipping from California, across country, across state lines.”
Local Source does exactly what’s in the name -- they source locally. Petruff says they were pretty resistant to the initial inflation prices earlier this year.
“Some of the products for their packaging had went up so we saw slight increase in that but it wasn’t anything major or alarming,” he said.
Things changed though when gas prices shot up. Petruff says one of their local bread makers increased price for their stock because they deliver across the city.
While Local Source has had some price increases, Petruff adds that the produce is still relatively cheap: “Rather than paying $1.50 or $2 a pound for tomatoes, we’re up to about $2.50.”
The USDA is anticipating food-at-home prices, or grocery store prices, to increase 3-4%. Petruff says while hearing that does make him nervous, there is an upside.
“I think it’s kind of beneficial to us that we’re seeing this national inflation that affecting mostly these major grocery stores because now we’re kind of able to match even with them now,” said Petruff.
Petruff went on to say if produce prices are similar between big box stores and smaller markets, people should invest in the local economy and buy local because it helps small businesses and small farmers.
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