SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – New details as many of us continue to feel the squeeze of inflation on our wallets.
Whether it’s meat, fruit or vegetables, people are expected to pay 5-6% more this year for food according to the latest USDA Consumer Price Index report.
Local businesses have spoken of how costs can add up very quickly with these unexpected price hikes.
Take a $0.30 per pound raise on organic bananas. You might not notice you’re breaking your grocery budget, but a smoothie shop using 500 pounds of fruit a week will.
That’s about the number of bananas Purely Pressed in South Bend uses each week.
“There are about two pounds of fruit in every bottle of juice we have,” said Anthony Fulton, chief operating officer.
With inflation impacting the price of pineapples, acai, and many of their most important ingredients, they were forced to make a change they’ve been trying to avoid since opening their doors in 2016.
“The first Purely Pressed store opened in 2016 and two weeks ago we saw our first ever price increase since the stores opened. It was a tough decision. We fought for a long time to know where to raise prices,” Fulton said.
Their most popular items increased by a dollar across the board. Juices went from $8 to $9. Smoothies hit double digits, going from $9 to $10. Acai bowls have gone from $10 to $11.
Fulton says they got creative to make sure prices don’t have to go up any further.
“We also added additional toppings. Instead of having three toppings, they can have four, so we changed our packaging to have a larger surface area. We will also be changing some sizes of our juices,” he said.
One of the other reasons Fulton says they pay more for ingredients is because of rising fuel prices.
People at Jaworski Market agree that high gas prices are contributing to higher meat prices, no matter what cut you choose.
“Ploughing, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting, processing – there is fuel in every layer. As we see our gas prices go up, we are being hit hard by this. I really think this is going to impact all food prices as this continues,” said Jaworski Market Owner Chris Jaworski.
He says business hasn’t dropped much because of inflation, but he’s noticed people spending more money on less food.
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