Grocery prices increase, hitting mass and dollar channels the hardest

Retail data firm Numerator has released new data on how inflation is continuing to hit the grocery industry.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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New insights from data firm Numerator show how inflation continues to impact grocery shoppers. The numbers show that while inflation’s impact on household and health & beauty prices have slowed down in recent months, grocery prices continue to slowly rise.

Inflation and supply chain pressures’ impact on private label was explored in the March/April issue of Store Brands Magazine.

In March, grocery prices were up 11% vs. YA compared to 10.3% in February, while prices for household items were up 8.4% vs. YA compared to 9.6% February and health & beauty prices were up 11.2% vs. YA compared to 14.2% February. Inflationary periods are correlated with strong private label sales. Store brands gained 6.5% in dollar sales in Q1 of 2022 compared to the Q1 of 2021.

“The rate of grocery inflation stalled or declined in March for food, club and online channels, while mass and dollar channels continued to see increased rates of inflations, with dollar surging most significantly,” said Numerator. “Online grocery prices remained slightly below year-ago and two years ago until recent months, likely an effect of the increased commonality & affordability of online grocery since the onset of the pandemic."

Numerator inflation data

The two groups hit hardest by rising grocery prices, potentially pushing them towards more store brands, are Gen Z and low income shoppers.

“Gen Z continues to be the most heavily impacted, with inflation rates 3.5 points higher than Millennials, the second most impacted generation,” said the data firm. “Low income consumers continue to be more heavily impacted by rising prices compared to middle or high income consumers. Asian and Hispanic/Latino consumers experienced decreased rates of inflation in March compared to February, while White, Black and Other ethnicities continued to see increased rates of inflation. Overall, Black consumers are facing the highest levels of inflation across ethnicities."

Numerator inflation data

The full report from Numerator can be found here.