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U.S. consumers increasingly pushing back against price increases — and winning

36 Comments
By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

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36 Comments
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Dryden, for example, loves cream cheese and bagels. A 12-ounce tub of Kraft's Philadelphia cream cheese costs $6.69. The store brand, he noted, is just $3.19.

A 24-pack of Kraft single cheese slices is $7.69; the store label, $2.99. And a 32-ounce Heinz ketchup bottle is $6.29, while the alternative is just $1.69. Similar gaps existed with mac-and-cheese and shredded cheese products.

How is it these private brands can produce the same product for sometimes half the price if these major corporations are not gouging the consumer?

I've really started to notice shrinkflation here in Japanese supermarkets. Packing is getting much smaller while the price is staying the same or rising slightly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How is it these private brands can produce the same product for sometimes half the price if these major corporations are not gouging the consumer?

It isn't a very good hidden secret that the A name brands are also producing many of these store brands. But that still leaves the question why there can be a substantial difference in price. Maybe A names needs a higher price since they are advertising, store brands are generally not advertised.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"" The White House has also attacked “shrinkflation,” whereby a company, rather than raising the price of a product, instead shrinks the amount inside the package. In a video released on Super Bowl Sunday, Biden denounced shrinkflation as a “rip-off.” ""

It is happening here in japan too, many stores are reducing QTY. and even increasing the price to Maximize profit or simply "Rip Off" consumers.

Greedy business are gouging there loyal customers any way they can in the name of Inflation.

Here are few tips,

1- Buy only what you need on weekly basis, Do not overstock.

2- Go shopping armed with a shopping list, stick to it and do not fall into their CM traps.

3- Buy store brand like Aeon Top Value or Best Price, it's no different than any major brands and even better.

4- check out ON SALE posters showing this week deals.

5- Who needs a kitchen paper towel when you can just use a mini cloth kitchen towel that can be washed or disposed of and SAVE a TREE.

Good Luck.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Americans from birth to death are taught to fight back. This can be very valuable, but it can also tear apart the society as it's doing now.

Fighting companies that are being greedy is one instance where this is positive. I wish Japanese citizens would fight back a little more and not be so accepting.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well Rent increases in latest CPI report, up 6% year over year. Auto insurance and services in general up a lot as well. Certainly, goods inflation much better, but then again energy prices and shipping costs now increasing...

It's interest rates causing MUCH $damage to consumers, though not considered inflation. Rates on all debt MUCH higher, hard to qualify for a mortgage with high payments etc. Housing market terrible, few transactions.

Finally, price of US treasuries way down, meaning rates much higher than 4 months ago. Inflation expectations clearly increasing, hence investors demanding higher returns/low prices.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Nah, consumer confidence is way up under Biden. Most jobs by any president ever and a strong economy - the people feel it and the consumer confidence index is high as a result.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Biden down depending on polling serious double digits to Trump on Inflation, High Prices, Economy. Also border and immigration which have economic consequences.

Recent CBS Poll has Biden down 30pts to Trump on Economy and Inflation/High Prices.

Consumers also HATE high interest rates, which are not part of the inflation calculation. Rents up 6% in last year, over 25% in past 3 years. Youth particularly hard hit, Biden's losing youth vote in NBC poll.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

ONLY group that likes High Interest and Inflation, 1%. Biden's support from top $1%, 85%, RECORD for this cohort.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A strong stock market does not mean consumers are happy. Just rich top 1%. Companies $price gouging for a long time now, causing much of this sticky inflation.

Not just US, ditto Europe and Japan, there's REASON politicians so unpopular now, Biden's at 38% in latest Gallop polling just last week. Kishida far worse!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A strong stock market does not mean consumers are happy.

That's right; the consumer confidence index does.

It's very high right now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kraft Heinz net income for the quarter ending December 31, 2023 was $0.757B.

$757 million dollars. Slightly down from 2022.

Projected net profits for this year are on track to be as good or better.

Make of that what you will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A strong stock market does not mean consumers are happy.

That's right; the consumer confidence index does.

It's very high right now.

It's so high few can quality for mortgage, auto insurance up 20% in last year, savings rate dropping fast and again rent prices at a record, increasing 6% in last year. Debt payment servicing brutal now but it's not inflation!

Biden's losing youth in NBC polling, he won this cohort easily in 2020, they're the most impacted by HIGH Prices and Inflation. Ditto Black and Hispanic cohorts.

Nobody cares about UMICH surveys, consumers believe their lying eyes, Why Biden's polling so terribly.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's so high few can quality for mortgage, auto insurance up 20% in last year, savings rate dropping fast and again rent prices at a record, increasing 6% in last year.

I guess it's high in spite of that. It must indicate that people feel confident in other ways that keeps this index high.

Nobody cares about UMICH surveys

Not when it disproves their point and makes Biden look good, they don't!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Biden looking so good, never know it with his terrible polling on High Prices, Inflation, High Interest Rates, etc. Inflation's picking up now, check out my treasury market comments above, rate cuts keep getting pushed back etc.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

US One Treasury trading at OVER 5% implied interest, meaning by end of NEXT Feb., markets pricing basically ONE 25pt basis cut. WHY? INFLATION PICKING UP!!!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

WHY? INFLATION PICKING UP!!!!

Like how in 2023 there was going to be a recession no doubt and no other possibility right?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone think CONSUMERS Pushing BACK on High Prices is a good sign of economic vitality?! For consumers it's stagflation, more spending for less stuff.

Strong equity markets matter little to MOST consumers, Corp's price $gouging profits is inflationary and massive US Govt. deficit spending, this year b/w $2 & $3Trillion!

The polls are NOT ALL WRONG, Biden's an economic, Inflation and HIGH Prices dumpster fire!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Anyone think CONSUMERS Pushing BACK on High Prices is a good sign of economic vitality?

No, I think a high consumer confidence index, high jobs and a roaring stock market are the signs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyone think CONSUMERS Pushing BACK on High Prices is a good sign of economic vitality?

No, I think a high consumer confidence index, high jobs and a roaring stock market are the signs.

That's your right to feel that way, I happen to analyze things a bit differently. Certainly, it's tight labor market given lasting pandemic damage, so people have work, many several jobs, so no jobs recession, just consumers on average have far higher living costs relative to wages.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Words lose their shape when presented in capitals.

Indeed. You mean the words change their shape.

It is thought by cognitive scientists and typographers alike, that lower-case text is more legible than upper-case.

The wiki page also says that on online situations, capitalization represents shouting and other impolite or argumentative behaviors. Seems you have found another way to do those things with no capitals, eh?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@HopeSpringsEternal

Mate, we get the picture you’re trying to sell. I don’t think it’s very good ‘influencing’.

The walls are closing in on Biden, everyone knows etc. We might get an ‘Oh wait..’ in a minute.

No need to spam the living daylights out of the thread. You made your ‘point’.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

JimizoToday  02:26 pm JST

@HopeSpringsEternal

Mate, we get the picture you’re trying to sell. I don’t think it’s very good ‘influencing’.

Afraid I'm not selling anything or attempting to influence, rather offering factual based logical analysis based.

Unfortunately, not learning much from others offering compelling counterpoints = My Hope that Springs Eternal!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Third world..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

LOL

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

TokyoLivingToday 03:19 pm JST

Third world..

You have to have a first world economy to make fun of a first world economy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 03:09 pm JST

Unfortunately, not learning much from others offering compelling counterpoints = My Hope that Springs Eternal!

Glad you admit you don't learn from others offering compelling counterpoints.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TaiwanIsNotChinaToday  03:41 pm JST

Glad you admit you don't learn from others offering compelling counterpoints.

DIRTH of compelling counterpoints = see above! Any compelling thoughts on the US Consumer?!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TokyoLiving

Third world..

Nobody brought up Russia or China, please try and stay on topic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Key driver of US Consumer 'pressure' remains housing, especially rental market for younger demographics. Insurance costs also on fire, especially auto and financing for anything, like cars now VERY costly.

Young unable to buy homes with high interest rates, stuck in rental HELL with High Rent Increases. US housing shortage growing daily, as high rates mean fewer new homes and apts. being built due to financing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 04:07 pm JST

TaiwanIsNotChinaToday  03:41 pm JST

Glad you admit you don't learn from others offering compelling counterpoints.

DIRTH of compelling counterpoints = see above! Any compelling thoughts on the US Consumer?!

My thought is you are here to present only a subset of information to discourage turnout of a certain type of US voter. This is otherwise known as gaslighting. I will get my economic news straight from the Fed and the Treasury.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Afraid new home and apt. construction not provided by Fed or Treasury, nor do they provide info on mortgage, credit card, auto, student loans interest rates. Providing insight into US consumer sentiment and the WHY

Most US consumers believe living costs outpacing their incomes by some margin, especially given high interest rates.

Again, US interest rates are not factored into inflation calculations. We do know US rents increased 6% year over year in latest CPI report, that's over $100/month or $1200/year for the average renter who's often younger.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Others, please share your viewpoints, let's focus on the US Consumer, not those making comments as that's how we all learn together!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How is it these private brands can produce the same product for sometimes half the price if these major corporations are not gouging the consumer?

Bingo, any surprise Corp profits so strong and powering the market. Furthermore, valuable Corps driving market gains generating HUGE interest income, Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathway, now 10's of Billions in additional interest income vs. just few short years ago.

Most US Consumers NOT SO LUCKY!!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How is it these private brands can produce the same product for sometimes half the price...

For the same reason that also most people work many hours for minimum wages or slightly above while only a very few can sell themselves for very big salaries. Something like talent and luck, being or producing and selling at a certain time and at a certain place. That's what it takes them to establish a high-priced brand product and the same to you if you try to land your dream job at outstanding wages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope sure seems desperate to push alternative facts...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HopeSpringsEternalFeb. 26 06:54 pm JST

Others, please share your viewpoints, let's focus on the US Consumer, not those making comments as that's how we all learn together!

If people "learned" anything from you they would believe the US is in economic collapse and China is rising. This would be the opposite of reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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