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    Food Prices Increasing As Companies Face Supply And Labor Shortages

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    Harry Wilmerding

    Food prices have surged as companies battle increasing costs, labor shortages and supply chain problems, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Food companies are struggling to find trucks and staff processing lines as costs for necessary products surge, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    U.S. food companies have experienced growing supply chain problems as consumers spend more on food, according to the WSJ. Consumer spending at grocery stores was 4% higher in August 2021 than it was the same month one year prior.

    Conagra, the company that produces Slim Jim meat sticks, Pam cooking spray and Hunt’s Ketchup raised its inflation projection for 2021 and reported that its quarterly earnings fell by 29%, according to the WSJ. Executives at the company attribute the lower earnings to higher costs for meat, grain, steel cans, labor and transportation problems.

    Demand for food has grown as people continue to work remotely and spend more time home cooking their meals, Conagra Chief Executive Officer Sean Connolly told the WSJ.

    “This is a great problem to have, but it increases the demands on our supply chain,” Connolly told the WSJ. “It’s a daily grind.”

    Lamb Weston, the largest seller of frozen potato goods in North America, reported that its quarterly profits fell by almost 66% for the quarter ending Aug. 29 due to increasing costs of transportation and labor along with intense heat during the summer, the WSJ reported.

    PepsiCo has struggled with supply chain problems, too, for which the company blames higher costs for aluminum cans, plastic bottles, labor and transportation, experts told the WSJ.

    The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said that its food price index, which measures the price of meat, grains, sugar and other important commodities, reached a ten-year high in September.

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