KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If your grocery bill is higher than normal, you're not alone. A recent price spike on what you throw in the buggy is the biggest in almost a decade.
Locally-owned Knoxville shops are seeing the same price trends as the nationwide chains. It's the price of the pandemic.
Everyday groceries are more expensive than ever and it has a lot to do with what happens before it sits on the aisle-long shelves. Food Industry Analyst Phil Lempert said the price hike is due to a supply chain process that's still trying to catch up, coupled with a shortage of workers across the board.
"We're gonna see price increases like we've never seen before," Lempert told NBC News. "We're seeing it on packaging on transportation, on just about everything."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the price of fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and eggs have all skyrocketed.
On a Knoxville Instacart receipt from Publix July 2020, an avocado was $1.19. On April 26, 2021, it was $1.83.
Nielsen IQ told NBC News ground beef is up to $5.26 a pound from $5.02.
"You know, it's bouncing from grocery stores to those meat markets in those places that are seeing that food costs go up, so hopefully it's something we can change," said Jeffrey Dealejandro, the owner of Knoxville restaurant OliBea and butcher shop HenHoc.
Dealejandro says HenHoc's local products were already priced higher because of the quality. Those price points have stayed the same throughout the pandemic.
The blow for him comes when he buys meat at wholesale prices.
"Tenderloins are a huge example. Beef tenderloins have jumped up probably for me. Wholesale have jumped up about $6 in the last six months," Dealejandro said.
He wants others to take a look at the quality of what they're buying and buy into local products, as a way to help local businesses during the price hike.
"It is scary. I think we should take a step back and look at how we could support the community we're in," Dealejandro said.
While the hope is for price tags to plunge soon, experts say the spike should linger through the rest of the year.
You can also expect higher prices on paper products, Coke, diapers and cereal, officials said.