LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — At the start of this pandemic, consumers worried about long lines and empty shelves at the grocery store, now there’s an additional concern: rising prices.
Grocery prices were up 2.6% in April, which was the highest single-month increase since 1974, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some experts like consumer behavior analyst Phil Lempert say meat plant disruptions, retiring truck drivers and high demand for household staples due to coronavirus are among the factors that have led to the increase.
“It’s a pandemic of the food world,” Lempert said.
Southland shoppers, along with consumers across the country, have personal experiences to share about the strain on their pockets.
“I’m a single mom. I went to Walmart today. I normally spend like $200. Today, I spent $300. It’s the normal things I buy,” said one shopper.
Others have concerns about locating commonly used products like flour and yeast.
As people continue to practice physical distancing, many are turning to delivery services like Instacart, where delivery fees, tips and not being able to use coupons add on the price of groceries.
Lempert’s prediction is that grocery store prices may go back down around January, which is also when he expects grocery store shelves to be fully stocked again.