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04/15/2022

Grocery prices steadily increase across channels

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Grocery inflation continued climbing in March 2022.

A new study reveals exactly how much the cost of grocery items rose in March 2022.

 The rate of inflation has slowed for both health & beauty and household products, but continues to rise in grocery categories, according to monthly inflation insights from Numerator. The membership warehouse club store channel has maintained the lowest rates of inflation for three consecutive months. (Numerator’s price tracking report includes an ongoing survey of over 10,000 consumers.) 

In March 2022, Numerator data shows that grocery prices were up 11% year-over-year (YoY), an increase from YoY increases of 10.3% in February 2022 and 9.1% in January 2022. Conversely, household items inflation slowed the most from February to March. Household product prices were up 11.3% YoY in March 2022, down from a 14.2% YoY increase recorded in February 2022. 

Health & beauty product inflation also continues to slow. In March 2022, cost of items in this category was 8.4% higher YoY, down from 9.6% in February 2022 and 12.8% in January 2022.

Grocery inflation findings

  • Dollar store grocery inflation rate is nearly double that of other channels. Grocery prices sharply rose in the dollar store channel, up 21.6% YoY in March 2022 (compared to 14.8% YoY in February 2022). The grocery channel with the second-highest YoY inflation rate was online (+13.2%), followed by mass (+10.5%), food (+9.6%), and club (+7.5%). 
  • Black consumers saw increased inflation as rates slowed for Asian and Hispanic / Latino consumers. Black consumers saw a 13.8% YoY increase in grocery prices, in March, up from 10.8% growth in February. However, YoY grocery inflation slowed for both Asian consumers (+9.8 in March vs. +11.2% in February) and for Hispanic consumers (+10% in March vs. +10.2% in February) 
  • All generations saw double-digit grocery inflation, with Gen Z most impacted. Consumers for consumers in the boomer and older generations crossed into double-digit grocery inflation for the first time in March (+10.5% YoY), but remained the least impacted generation compared to Gen X (+10.9%), millennials (+11.1%), and Gen Z (+14.6%). 
  • Low-income consumers continue to pay disproportionately more for groceries. Low-income consumers are paying 12.9% more for groceries than a year ago, compared to middle-income (+11.1%) and high-income consumers (+10.2%).

Consumer survey highlights

  • Hispanic / Latino consumers reported an improvement in their financial situations in March 2022 compared to the prior month, with 49.5% of Hispanic / Latino consumers reporting a “good” or “very good” outlook in March, up from 47.7% in February 2022. 
  • Gen Z was the only respondent cohort to show a decline in financial security, as more Gen Z consumers reported a “poor” or “very poor” financial outlook in March 2022 than in February 2022 (17% vs 14.4%).
  • More than one in five consumers (22.8%) say they do not have extra funds available, a trend even more pronounced among Asian consumers (28.6%).

Adobe: Grocery sets new online inflation record
Online grocery prices continued to surge and rose 9% year-over-year (up 1.4% month-over-month) in March 2022, setting a new record, according to a newly released Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI) data. Overall, Adobe tracked online price growth of 3.6% year-over-year (YoY), matching the all-time record.