“Everyone’s still gotta eat,” says David J. Livingston, a supermarket consultant
in Pewaukee, Wisc. “But stores are going to have to adjust to people trading
down.” And it’s not that people will eat less, he says. “Even with gas prices
rising, people aren’t consuming less, they’re just making other adjustments.
They’ll do the same for food,” he says, for example, buying more private-label
MediaPost Publications – Will Upscale Supermarkets Have Egg On Their Faces? – 03/13/2008
FORGET ABOUT TESCO, WHOLE FOODS and Trader Joe’s. The average American supermarket may have a new nemesis–food inflation that’s moving faster than a speeding bullet.
As American tastes have moved upmarket, virtually every chain has responded, adding everything from organic private-label products to high-end prepared foods. In fact, you can buy a $40 bottle of wine or fresh-made lobster bisque just about anywhere. But there’s some evidence that ever-upscaling supermarkets may be in a precarious position in the months ahead, as shoppers grapple with rapid price hikes in all kinds of food.