Expect your food shopping bills to rise in 2018

Last year was a good one for food shoppers with several factors keeping retail prices down. But don’t expect the same in 2018, predicts Cooking Light magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. Know how to fill your shopping cart while avoiding this evil trio of additives.
Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. This year, it also will mean watching for sales and bargains as food prices rise.

Commodity prices have been rising but food retailers have absorbed those rather than pass them on to consumers in the face of increased competition from online retailers like Amazon. That could change in 2018. something has to give, basically, retailers can’t keep paying more for what they buy without eventually charging you more for what you buy from them.

That’s especially true because what are known as center-store sales, that is processed, packaged foods, are selling less while produce nd other fresh items are selling more. Those center-store items carry the largest profit margins for retailers and in the past have subsidized prices for produce, eggs, etc. That isn’t working anymore so retailers have to adjust or die.

Click here to see an interesting interactive chart on food price inflation on an annual basis from 1914 through 1974. You can see recent years have seen relatively small increases. That will likely change this year.

So watch for sales, plan your meals to use sale items more and always be alert to new shopping venues, whether online or off, that might offer discounts to attract your business. Happy shopping!

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