Big meat companies are making your grocery trip more expensive, not inflation, a White House report says
· Meat prices spiked during the pandemic.
· While many are worried about widespread price inflation, the White House blames meat prices on something different.
· In a new report, officials discuss breaking up the meat monopolies to lower prices for shoppers.
Bartie Scott and Andy Kiersz, Business Insider
via Yahoo News - September 9, 2021
If a pack of 32 frozen Great Value beef burgers at Walmart costs roughly $23 today, it would've been roughly $19 before the pandemic. For a lot of Americans, that nearly 15% increase in prices since January 2020 adds up to a severely bloated grocery bill.
But the White House isn't blaming broader, economy-wide inflation for this one. Instead, it's saying meat industry players are collaborating to raise prices for shoppers - and not passing along the extra profits to farmers.
In a White House briefing Wednesday, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said half of the overall increase in at-home food prices is due to spikes in the cost of beef, pork, and poultry. And this has helped major industry players see record profits so far this year.
"It raises a concern about pandemic profiteering - about companies that are driving price increases in a way that hurts consumers who are going to the grocery store, and also isn't benefiting the actual producers - the farmers and the ranchers," Deese said in the briefing.
In addition to the 15% increase in the price of beef and veal since January 2020, the chart below shows that pork is up nearly 14% and poultry up 12.5%. Meanwhile, prices for the broader category of food bought to be eaten at home (as opposed to in a restaurant) are up just 6.5%...