Who’s to blame? Consumers, FTC scrutinize rising food prices

As large grocery chains face growing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny, consumers consider farmers least culpable for over-inflated food prices, according to a new survey.

Consumers across the nation are feeling the pinch of noticeably higher grocery store prices, prompting frustration and questions about who is to blame for the soaring costs. Researchers from the University of Illinois and Purdue University sought to delve into consumer sentiments.

According to a Purdue economist, two-thirds of those surveyed point fingers at downstream suppliers like manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants, feeling they’re being overcharged. Surprisingly, farmers are viewed as the least culpable in the eyes of consumers.

The survey also reveals bipartisan concern over market power and the dominance of manufacturers and large retailers. Large grocery stores, in particular, are under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

An FTC report highlights the market practices of major companies such as Walmart, Kroger, and Tyson during the pandemic. It alleges that these corporations leveraged their size to their advantage, capitalizing on rising costs to hike prices and boost profits.

The National Grocer’s Association welcomes the FTC’s findings, asserting that it validates what independent grocers and consumers have long suspected: that large retailers have wielded their influence to drive up prices.

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