Grocery prices climbing, analysts can only speculate when inflation will stabilize

Oct 27, 2021, 6:26 PM | Updated: 7:05 pm
grocery prices...
WASHINGTON, DC - A man shops in the meat section at a grocery store, April 28, 2020 Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sticker shock over prices at the grocery store.

We’ve all seen how quickly our grocery bills have climbed in recent months as inflation drives the cost of everyday items way up.  Some economic analysts say they can only speculate on when this will end. 

Wholesalers say grocery prices pinch everyone

Nicholas and Company is a wholesale distributor that delivers food to restaurants, schools, government institutions and prisons, and they’re seeing the inflation problem from multiple sides.  Co-CEO Nicole Mouskondis says, at the core, it’s the classic scenario of supply and demand, with demand going up and supply crashing down.  For instance, she says many meat processing plants across the country are dealing with the effects of the pandemic and they don’t have as many workers as normal.

“They only, maybe, have half the number of employees in those production plants,” she said.

On top of that, Mouskondis says there’s a severe truck driver shortage.  She estimates companies are short roughly 80,000 drivers, nationwide.  There have been driver shortages in the past, but Mouskondis says this current one could be a lot worse than others have been.

“What’s different about this time is that we don’t have a pipeline of drivers.  As drivers are aging out, we don’t have a pipeline of drivers coming in because all the truck driving schools shut down because of COVID,” according to Mouskondis.

A complex problem

Officials with the Utah Food Industry Association say they wish there was one specific problem leading to higher prices, but several different problems are combining to make one large inflation mess.  President Dave Davis says the federal government made things worse by injecting more cash into the economy, which traditionally brings the value of the dollar down.

Davis says grocery stores and other retailers will frequently place items on sale to move merchandise they need to get rid of.  However, he’s seeing a distinct drop in the number of promotions being organized since store owners don’t have as much merchandise to sell.

Better days ahead?

Eventually, Davis believes prices will stabilize.

“I think that many of those things are going to start to fix themselves over time.”

So, how long will that take?  Davis can only speculate.

“It took us about 24 months, or so, to get into this problem that we’re in and it will probably take us at least that long to get out,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
19 hours ago
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
19 hours ago
Lehi City officials have closed a portion of westbound 1500 North to repair a large sinkhole. On it...
Simone Seikaly

Large sinkhole shuts down portion of westbound 1500 North in Lehi

Lehi City officials said the sinkhole formed on 1500 North due to a water leak.
19 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
19 hours ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Eric Levenson, Melissa Alonso and Chris Boyette, CNN

Five former Memphis police officers indicted on charges of murder

The former officers were each charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault among other charges.
19 hours ago
Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, l...
Simone Seikaly

Suspects in custody, lockdown lifted after shots fired at Taylorsville High

Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, leading to lockdown and lockout procedures.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Grocery prices climbing, analysts can only speculate when inflation will stabilize