Three Grocery Categories That Have Increased In Price By More Than 10%

Although inflation has caused an increase in grocery products across the board, consumers are paying more for adult beverages, pet food and salty snacks.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Pretty much everything costs more at the grocery store these days, but according to data revealed by e-commerce technology platform Swiftly, three categories stand out.

Swiftly offers analytics for brick-and-mortar retailers, and provides them with data regarding consumer behavior in real time.

Grocery sales increased 8.3% in June, but adult beverages, pet food and salty snacks have seen more than a 10% increase in prices since January, the company found.

Additional data from Swiftly found that adult beverages have seen an increase of 18% since January (though average prices went down from $4.81 to $4.78 from June to July). Pet food increased 11% since January, with the biggest jump from April to May (average prices are from $4.64 to $4.82). Since January, salty snacks have gone up 10%, with the biggest jump from April to May (average prices going from $2.22 to $2.30).

Sean Turner, CTO and co-founder of Swiftly, shared more information about grocery categories with WGB.

Jeniece Drake: Is it just the three categories — adult beverages, pet food, and salty snacks that shoppers are spending more on, or are there other categories as well?

Sean Turner: Based on our data, we have seen additional price increases in the following categories since January of this year: bath and body products (15%), bread (9%) and candy (7%). Based on these price increases, we tend to see consumers working within a budget. Retailer-branded promotions and discounts do help.

Please explain more about why adult beverages, pet food and salty snacks have seen more than a 10% increase in prices since January.

No different than any other categories that have also had price increases, these have felt the impact of supply chain and resource shortages. In addition, consumer behavior changes and increased demand for these items have pushed prices higher. 

Adult beverage prices have increased 18% since January, although average prices went down from $4.81 to $4.78 from June to July. Prices started coming down this summer. Do you think this trend will continue?

One month of a minimal price decrease is not enough to signal a longer-term decline in pricing that would offset the amount of increase that has occurred since January. We will have to see if seasonality plays a role in further decreases, along with supply and demand.

Both pet food and salty snacks prices have increased since January, with the biggest jumps from April to May. What do you think is the significance of these months? What are your price projections of these categories going forward?

One month is hard to make a long-term projection based on ever-changing consumer behavior and the impact of the economy and inflation. However, increased prices can be driven by more expensive cost of goods, and something more consumer-specific, such as millennials willing to spend more on their pets. In terms of salty snacks, ingredients have become more expensive, and those costs are being passed on to the consumer … no different than some other categories. 

Which categories at the grocery store are shoppers prioritizing?

Shoppers will continue to prioritize essential items such as bread, dairy and vegetables. With remaining budgets, customers tend to prioritize favorable items from personalized offers and loyalty programs or rewards. It won’t be a surprise to see fluctuation from month-to-month across all categories as seasonality, cost of goods and supply chain challenges continue to find their new normal to stabilize prices.

Are there any other projections you would like to share, or other information you think is important to note?

Inflation continues to cause prices of essential and everyday goods to fluctuate both high and low. As consumers struggle to afford basic needs, we are seeing more households take advantage of mobile apps to locate their preferred products at the best prices and check available inventory. Loyalty programs tied to a mobile app also make saving easier, as they incentivize consumers with highly personalized offers that deliver exclusive deals, discounts, and rewards that are redeemable as they shop. Shoppers can also use loyalty program features to detect price comparisons across products, which can reduce the total cost of products significantly. Finally, coupon stacking is another way consumers can enhance deals from discount stores and bring their bills down. In fact, we have seen the value of coupons redeemed go up more than 30% versus the same time last year. Regardless of when prices come down, consumer behavior has been altered and shoppers will continue to look for the biggest savings.




More from our partners