The natural grocer raised prices this month on dozens of items from Dr. Bronner’s soaps to Häagen-Dazs ice cream, according to an email viewed by the Journal. A separate company email in December listed 550 additional price increases on products including crackers, olives and cookies.
Whole Foods said in the December email that suppliers were charging more for those products due to inflation. The separate price increases this month followed the expiration of annual contracts to sell about 700 goods at low prices, Whole Foods said. Those contracts won’t be renewed, the chain said, and the increases add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in additional revenue.
Several consumer-goods companies, including Procter & Gamble Co. and Clorox Co. , have recently raised prices or pledged to do so, to offset the higher costs of raw materials and boost profits. Nearly half of 52 consumer-goods manufacturers surveyed recently by consulting firm Acosta raised prices last year.
The inflation-based increases at Whole Foods range from 10 cents to several dollars, a price list reviewed by the Journal shows. Soaps, detergent, oils and nut butters have some of the highest increases. The average hike was 66 cents, according to the list.
Supermarkets have resisted passing along the price increases amid intensifying competition in their industry. Some are starting to relent. California-based Smart & Final Stores Inc., a warehouse-style grocer, has received requests from hundreds of suppliers to raise prices and expects costs to continue to rise this year. Some supermarkets…
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