(WQOW) - Lasting effects of the pandemic have grocery prices jumping.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of groceries is now 8% more expensive then it was this time last year, and 16% more than what it was pre-pandemic in 2019.
Wisconsin Grocers Association President Brandon Scholz said the price climb isn't item-by-item, but rather across the supply chain.
The gradual rise in prices begins at the manufacturing stage.
Still in recovery from the pandemic, Scholz said the cost of labor, raw materials and transportation has increased. The incremental change has sent the cost of production jumping, placing a new burden on consumers.
"At some point the grocer can't absorb all of those increases, and unfortunately it has to be passed on to consumers," said Scholz, "Cleaning products, paper products, rice, yeast, those things used in baking, things that had high consumer demand, or were part of a hoarding and stockpile effort, it may have taken those manufacturers time to recover from that high demand and so you might see a consistent pricing strategy with those folks."
Scholz said frozen and non-perishable items will not have any drastic changes in price due to their longer shelf life.
Scholz added when a new grocery store comes to town, existing stores typically lower its prices to stay in the competition.