KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Chances are, you’ve noticed that trips to the grocery store are costing you a little more. That’s because, grocery stores, large and small, are feeling the pinch as supply shrinks and prices continue to rise.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food-at-home (grocery store or supermarket food purchases) prices increased 0.6% from June to July.
In 2021 thus far compared to 2020, food-at-home prices have increased 1.9% and food-away-from-home prices have increased 3.1%. The consumer price index for all food has increased an average of 2.4%.
“There’s no indication that anything’s going to be better any time soon,” said John Harrison, owner of Sweetwater Valley Farms.
He says the supply chain issues are largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His farm is still trying to bounce back from last year.
“We struggled at getting production that was needed completed last year, and then this year we struggle at getting items packaged and ready and delivered. So we have to short a lot of customers on products that they’re wanting just because we haven’t been able to get it done,” Harrison said.
When the farms can’t deliver, grocery stores end up being short on supply, which drives prices up.
As the holidays get closer, Harrison recommends shopping early, and preparing for things to be out of stock.
“I think businesses are just saying we’re going to raise our prices and do what we need to do since this shortage it out there. Don’t wait until the last minute. It’s just a struggle across the board,” Harrison said.