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08/09/2022

Grocery inflation hits record high in July

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Grocery inflation reached a record high of 15.4% in July.

Grocery prices continue to set records.

After leveling off in early July, grocery prices began to climb again at the end of the month, up 15.4% for the four-week period ending 7/31/22 versus a year ago (YA), according to Numerator’s latest Inflation Insights and Shopping Behavior Index. The rise comes as overall online prices fell in July after 25 consecutive months of inflation.

Online and dollar stores remain the most affected channels, Numerator said. Online grocery prices rose 25.7%, followed by dollar stores, up 22.4%.

Health & beauty inflation rates have doubled in four months. In April 2022, health & beauty prices were up 9% vs YA. After remaining relatively stable through June 2022, prices spiked in late July, up 18.5% vs YA. The increases were primarily driven by medical products, as well as skincare and hair care.

In other findings, the club channel reached double-digit inflation for the first time in July. While club stores’ grocery inflation rates continue to lag behind other channels, July marked the first time that inflation up 10%, before settling back to 9.3% by the end of the month.

Grocery inflation impact is converging across demographics, according to Numerator. In contrast to disproportionate impacts seen earlier in the year, inflation rates have spread more evenly across consumer cohorts in July, with slightly elevated impact among suburban, low Income, and Gen Z consumers (+16.1%, +15.5%, +16.3%, respectively). 

Here are findings on the impact of inflation on shopping in July from Numerator.

  • Spending is up across most major channels. After softening demand in late June, overall spending is on the rise again in July, up 26% vs YA, driven by higher spending per trip (+14% vs YA).  
  • Prime Day drove a surge in online sales, most prominent among high-income consumers. Online spending spiked to +90% vs YA the week of Prime Day and even greater (+103%) among high-income consumers.  
  • In-store spending declined as consumers shopped online in July. Following steady increases throughout 2022, in-store spending began to dip in July, down 7 points from June highs of 23% growth though still up from this time last year.
  • Consumers are cutting back on dining out. Quick-service restaurants saw declines in both sales and trips in July - each down approximately 10 points from June 2022 levels.