The Grocery Game Food Price Watch:
Sale Prices on the Rise?
As of May 3, 2012 update to USDA food cost increases: All data and price samplings generated by www.TheGroceryGame.com
After a rough start in the first few months of 2012, many supermarkets have changed their marketing strategy to lean more towards everyday low prices, which translates into regular prices being lowered. With that said, we expected to see historically low sale prices begin to rise, and they did. The following provides a few examples of what has happened nationwide, starting with some of the most dramatic increases.
At Meijer stores in OH, Kellogg’s Cereal had price drops in January, but have since steadily climbed. At the end of March regular price was 3.39 with a sale price of $2. The sale price steadily rose through April, from 2.50, to 3.19, and finally 3.33 last week, a 67% increase in the sale price in a one month period.
At Shoprite stores in the northeast, the sale price of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (16 oz) jumped by 25% from 3.99 to 4.99 on April 1st, and has remained the same.
At Ralphs, a Kroger store in CA, Red Baron Pizza, previously $3.49 on sale, jumped 43% to the new sale price of $4.99 the second week of April. At the same time, the regular price dropped from 7.49 to 6.99. Progresso soup dropped in regular price from 2.99 to 2.69 end of March, while the sale price doubled from 1.25 to 2.49. Also at the end of March, Eggo Waffles dropped by 5% on the regular price from 4.19 to 3.99, while the sale price jumped by 25%, 1.99 to 2.50.
Not all went up at Ralphs in CA… Ritz Crackers, Cheerios, Dole canned pineapple, Fiber One Bars, Eggs, and Ralphs brand yogurt, to name a few, saw drops in both the regular and sale prices at the end of March. Their California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza jumped from a sale price of $4.49 to $5.99 at the end of March, now down to 3.88. Starbucks coffee was the biggest drop on the sale price from $8.99 down to $5.88.
At Food Lion in NC, the regular price of Breyers ice cream dropped from 6.99 to 6.49 in mid-April. Sale prices remained the same.
At Vons in California, 18 count Lucerne eggs just dropped from 3.69 to 3.29, a throw-back to the prices of summer 2011.
Food Lion in NC this week dropped a pint of grape tomatoes from their regular price of 2.99 since Feb. 2011, to a regular price of 2.60 per pint, the lowest since $2.49 in June of 2010. Ralphs in CA Tomatoes on the Vine lowest sale price was .99/lb, now .49/lb, the lowest price in the nation.
Hyvee in Missouri’s boneless skinless chicken breasts at 4.28/lb and 1.99/lb on sale, dropped in mid-March to 3.29/lb with a new lower sale price of 1.88/lb.
Chicken, having risen less than 3% in 2011 (compared to beef and pork up 10% and 12% respectively), continues to be the best value in meat departments nationwide.
All data and price samplings generated by www.TheGroceryGame.com
Each year, when the USDA gives the food cost increase analysis of the past year along with their projections for the current year, www.TheGroceryGame.com queries samplings from our databases, and continues to update. Here are some past reports:
Feb. 28, 2011 – “USDA’S FOOD COST INCREASE PROJECTION – I’M SKEPTICAL. MAYBE IT SHOULD BE MORE”
March 7, 2011 – “FOOD COST INCREASES ACTUAL #S NATIONWIDE”
March 9, 2011 – “FOOD COST INCREASES IN AR, OR, TX, FL & NORTHEAST”
April 30, 2011 – “USDA COST INCREASE UPDATE AND… REALITY CHECK”
March 12, 2012 – “POST RECESSION AND FOOD COSTS RISING AT ALARMING RATES”