Voice of US retail industry sees food prices soaring further

The association representing the retail industry in the United States has sounded the alarm over food prices, saying they could go even higher because of the shortage of food oils from crops such as soybeans.

The increased use of food oils such as palm oil, sunflower and soybean oil in the production of biodiesel, coupled with the war in Ukraine – which is the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil – have put a strain on supply, said the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The trade body said it has alerted the US Government for more than a year now about the shortage of food oils. The shortage is causing significant disruptions throughout the supply chain and raising food costs for consumers.

“Food manufacturers simply can’t get their hands on enough of these oils to make everyday foods,” said NRF official David French.

But while April retail sales demonstrate the US consumer’s “strength and willingness to spend despite persistent inflation,” it remains to be seen how long this resilience is going to last.

Meanwhile, Americans are shopping smart in response to higher prices and they are looking for convenience in their choices of proteins, according to IRI, a provider of consumer and shopping insights.

“… anything that saves people time and provides an easy entertaining solution is doing very well throughout the store. It is important to view the time-saving benefits holistically to include the ease of planning, shopping, preparation and cleanup. Everything matters,” said,” IRI principal Joanna Parker.



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