- According to a new study by market research firm C+R Research, 85% of shoppers are paying more for groceries during the coronavirus pandemic.
- The price of meat increased the most, according to those surveyed.
- Higher meat prices were caused by supply chain issues early on in the pandemic, but have since dropped as production has ramped up again.
- Survey respondents also expressed a high level of pessimism for the future, with 87% worried about the effect of a second wave of coronavirus cases on the availability of groceries.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
A new study by C+R Research confirms what most Americans already knew: shoppers are paying more at the grocery store during the pandemic.
The market research firm found that 85% of 2,040 Americans surveyed have been shelling out more for groceries in recent months. And while prices for food have increased across the board — including for milk, eggs, fruit, and fish — the cost of meat has soared above the rest.
Nearly 70% of survey respondents said they are currently paying more for meat compared to before the pandemic. Of the different kinds of meats, beef has witnessed the greatest price increase, at 10.3%. Early on in the pandemic, a major meat production breakdown caused by coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants resulted in a supply shortage at grocery stores and restaurants alike.
At one point, Costco, Kroger, and other grocers limited the amount of fresh meat shoppers could purchase.
Undoubtedly the biggest winner in all of the grocery supply chaos has been plant-based meat producer Impossible Foods, which expanded its grocery presence 77-fold in the last six months as beef suppliers struggled to meet demand. Meat production has since increased, resulting in a steep drop in meat prices.
For some consumers, however, shortages on select items are still a reality. About 83% of survey respondents said they "still have difficulty finding grocery items they normally purchase." And to save money, 43% have been eating less meat. Shoppers are also seeking more discounts and buying in bulk.
Consumers remain overwhelmingly pessimistic about the future. About 87% of those surveyed are worried that a second wave of COVID-19 cases would lead to further grocery shortages, and 86% are worried it would lead to higher prices.
Unfortunately, those worries may be justified. In April, experts told Business Insider they expected to see grocery shortages last for over a year. Carolyn Dimitri, associate professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, also told Business Insider in July that the effect of coronavirus outbreaks on the food supply chain is unpredictable.
"There will continually be problems," she said.
Get the latest coronavirus analysis and research from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses.
Source: Read Full Article