Ketchup inflation hits your weekend cookout
New York CNN –
Planning to squirt some ketchup on your hot dog at the BBQ this weekend? You may see red.
A 32-ounce bottle of ketchup went from an average of $4.08 for the week of May 16, 2022 to $5.22 for the week of May 15, 2023, according to Datasembly, which publishes weekly changes for its grocery of food prices in over 150,000 US stores is measured by the price index. That’s a jump of almost 28%.
Other spices are also expensive. A 20-ounce bottle of mustard was up about 13% during that period, and 26-ounce bottles and relish jars were up about 12%.
Proteins were cheaper, with beef hot dog prices up just 3%. And if you like your burgers plain and bun-free, you’re in luck: The price of 80/20 fresh ground beef hamburgers was essentially the same. Combined, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, relish, mustard, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, ketchup cost nearly 9% more this year than they did last year.
The price increase shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. Although consumers are feeling some relief at the grocery store, grocery inflation consistently exceeds headline inflation.
Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Ketchup prices are going up.
Grocery prices rose 7.1% for the year to April, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Overall, prices increased by 4.9% during this period.
Some individual categories, such as spices, have risen even more than the average increase for groceries.
That could be due to high commodity prices like sugar and wheat, noted Carman Allison, vice president of thought leadership for North America at NIQ, which also tracks U.S. retail prices.
“I think a lot of manufacturers are still faced with the cost of the ingredients,” Allison said. Consumer goods prices are also outpacing headline inflation, according to NIQ data. NIQ’s own data shows that ketchup prices rose about 14% year over year in the week ended April 30.
Ingredient, labor, and fuel prices all affect the overall costs of consumer goods companies that make products like ketchup and buns. And some companies have also used inflation as a cover to boost their own profits.
Retailers are strategic about pricing ahead of public holidays. They may offer discounts on some items e.g. B. hot dogs, while others, e.g. g. ketchup, are offered at full price.
“They may have a deal on an area of the cart that could potentially increase traffic to the store,” Allison said. Shoppers who come for one thing are likely to “buy all these complementary products.”
In other words, if you get a good deal on hot dogs, you probably won’t leave the place without ketchup and buns.
Retailers also know that shoppers are less focused on the prices of key BBQ items this weekend.
“As we think about Memorial Day weekend, a lot of us will be traveling and there will be a lot of time pressures,” Allison said.
Some customers, who usually look for the best deal in a few stores, this time choose the convenience of a one-stop shop. “There could be a small win for retailers,” Allison said.
Another reason why ketchup and other condiments are expensive this year? Fancy options.
“Even in the spice world, there has been a lot of new innovation and premiumization as well,” Allison said. “Manufacturers, as well as retailers, have kept pace with many consumer trends and demands.”
Last summer, Kraft Heinz (KHC) introduced a line of “exquisite sauces and spreads,” including fortified honey.
And there’s more innovation to come: the company recently unveiled a prototype of a machine that allows people to mix their own ketchup flavors. These inventions can lead to new products on the shelves.