Price of peanut butter, other foods to increase

File photo: peanut butter

November 1, 2011 4:11:12 PM PDT
Your next visit to the grocery store could bring an unwelcome surprise. One family food staple is about to get a lot more expensive. Peanut butter prices are set to rise anywhere from 20 to 40 percent, but peanut butter is not the only item seeing an increase.

Your grocery store bill is probably already higher than a year ago and now it's about to go even higher thanks to that increase in the cost of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a family favorite for millions of Americans.

"They love peanut butter. I feed them peanut butter and jelly all the time, that's what they like," mother Jennifer Cox said.

Now Cox will have to pay much more for peanut butter. A bad peanut crop harvest is being blamed on a price hike of up to 40 percent on the product.

But peanut butter is not the only bad news for families.

According to a Purdue University economist, the price of cooking oil and salad oil is up more than 10 percent, dairy products are up more than 10 percent, and fruits and vegetables up more than six percent.

The USDA says over all retail food prices will be up 3 to 4 percent this year.

"I think it is just crazy, everything it seems like is going up, you know," consumer Ashley Godwin said.

ABC 13 Super Saver Erin Libranda has seen the increases happening over the last few months.

"Definitely produce, I mean produce no matter what kind of produce it is -- apples, oranges, bananas, everything -- generally across the board they've all gone up," Libranda said.

Libranda says the peanut butter price hike has not hit store shelves just yet, so now may be a time to stock up.

"You do see the panic in everybody; everybody is starting to stockpile; prices are not really going up yet, actually you can catch quite a few on sale right now," Libranda said.

Libranda says as food prices creep up, discounts are not as robust.

"Not only have the prices gone up but the value of the coupons has gone down, so it is like you are losing at both ends of the spectrum," she said.

With coupons becoming less valuable there are fewer ways to get good deals, but Libranda says if you are looking for deals on fresh fruit and vegetables, try farmers markets.

We expect to see the price for peanut butter to increase over the next couple of weeks. We talked to local grocery stores and they say the price hikes have not hit here yet.

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