In the midst of decades-high inflation, grocery shoppers are experiencing sticker shock over bread prices, a report found.
Some grocery stores are now charging $10 for artisanal bread and other premium bread options, making a pantry staple expensive for consumers already struggling with high gas prices.
According to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University, consumers see $10-per-loaf prices as a “punch in the face,” adding that prices have never been this high.
In June, the Consumer Price Index showed that white bread prices had risen 10.1% compared to one year earlier, while wheat bread soared 11.6%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the price of white bread per pound reached $1.69, which is the highest level recorded.
Some customers have already abandoned their shopping carts with bread because of rising pricing. According to Bloomberg, which cited data from NielsenIQ, unit purchases of bread products were down 2.7 percent this year through July 2.
La Boulangerie & Co., a chain of bakeries based in Chicago, informed Bloomberg that it had to increase prices by 10% to cover additional costs, making a loaf of brioche cost $11.50.
“It’s tough because how high can you pay for a loaf of bread?” said the chain’s owner Vincent Colombet. “Can you pay $20 for a loaf of bread? No. We are really squished between the hammer and the anvil.”
Grocery prices rose 12.2 % overall in June, contributing significantly to the month’s 9.1 % inflation rate, which was the highest since 1981.