Many shoppers turn to Walmart for its famed low prices. But even the giant retailer is not immune to the inflation that has ravaged American pocketbooks.
Recently, the editorial team at Trading Pedia analyzed the prices of 34 grocery items at Walmart. They compared what those items cost online in July of this year with what they cost in July 2019 — roughly six months before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S.
As it turns out, prices have surged for most of the items surveyed, some by more than 100%.
The Trading Pedia analysis divided products into six categories. The products that have jumped most in price in each category are:
- Meat and seafood/bacon, hot dogs and sausages: Freshness Guaranteed Boneless Chicken Breasts (4.6-5.75 pounds): Up about 31%, from $11.44 to $15.02
- Fruits and vegetables: Sweet onions (each): Up 165%, from 66 cents to $1.75
- Beverages: Pepsi soda (eight-pack of 12-ounce cans): Up almost 68%, from $8.34 to $13.98
- Condiments: Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil (16 ounces): Up 48%, from $4.38 to $6.48.
- Dairy and eggs: Great Value 1% Low-fat Milk (1 gallon): Up 151%, from $1.38 to $3.46
- Canned foods: Great Value Tomato Sauce (15 ounces): Up about 57%, from 46 cents to 72 cents
Amid all that pricing gloom were a couple of rays of sunshine: The price of Hass Avocados is down about 31%, from 98 cents each in 2019 to 68 cents each in 2022.
Also, the price of a 96-ounce bottle of Great Value 100% Apple Juice has dropped about 12%, from $2.48 to $2.18, over the past three years.
Buying all 34 of the surveyed items in 2019 would have cost a shopper $153.08, according to Trading Pedia. Now, those same items cost $186.02, an increase of 21.5%.
Because the rise in average weekly earnings of all employees in the U.S. has not kept pace with inflation, there has been a 5.74% decrease in consumer purchasing power for groceries over the past three years, Trading Pedia says.
In the report, Michael Fisher, inflation analyst at Trading Pedia, says:
“It is difficult to predict when the customer purchasing power for buying groceries will reach the pre-pandemic level from July 2019. It depends on the correlation between food inflation and the average weekly earnings annual growth rate.”
However, based on projections for both future food prices and growth in average weekly earnings, Fisher does not expect customer purchasing power for buying groceries will reach the pre-pandemic level until the first half of 2024 “at earliest.”
For more on cutting the cost of groceries, read “25 Ways to Spend Less on Groceries.”