Record inflation impacts Triangle grocers, shopping habits ahead of holidays

Wake County News

RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – New data released by the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics shows national inflation in October hit the highest monthly increase in nearly 30 years.

Price hikes across multiple industries are also being felt in Raleigh stores.

The merchandising manager for local grocer Weaver Street Market, James Watts, said he’s seen an increase in everyday farmed goods like meat and cheese, as well as frequently outsourced items like avocados.

“I think that at some level, then inflation fear begins to feed an inflation frenzy,” Watts said. “We’re going to see people make more conscious choices about what they’re buying.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports inflation rose by 6.2 percent in October compared to the same time frame last year.

Food prices across major grocery store chains grew by 5.4 percent over a year.

For shopper Sen Chen, price changes can dictate his weekly meal plans.

“The price is kind of creeping up maybe a few cents here, a few cents there,” Chen said. “I check what’s on sale then I think, OK, sure, I got a craving for maybe some burgers or something, but it’s not on sale right now. But oh, maybe the pasta sauce is on sale, so I go for pasta that week.”

Watts said relying on local products for the company’s four stores can help offset the cost of price increases on goods that come from overseas or across the country.

“The more that we can support local entrepreneurs, local businesses, and local farms, the more likely we’re going to be able to insulate both us and them from these kinds of price shocks,” Watts said.

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