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Grocery prices headed higher: Kroger

Beef prices have risen 14% this year while pork prices have jumped 12.1%, and poultry prices are up 6.6%.

Grocery prices are headed higher later this year, according the U.S.’s largest supermarket by sales. Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which had $132 billion in sales last year, says inflation is running hotter than management previously anticipated and that expectations are now for prices to rise 2% to 3% over the second half of this year.

Kroger is “passing along higher cost to the customer where it makes sense to do so,” said CFO Gary Millerchip on the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Friday.

Management at Kroger rival Albertsons Companies Inc. earlier this summer expressed similar concerns that inflation would pick up in the second half of the year and that they too would pass some of those increased costs along to consumers.

Further increases at the checkout counter would put further pressure on consumers who are already dealing with the biggest annual increase in consumer prices since August 2008.

Within the consumer price index, the component for food at home has risen six months in a row and is up 2.6% this year.

Half of the basket’s price increase is due to soaring prices for beef, pork and poultry. Beef prices have risen 14% this year while pork prices have jumped 12.1%, and poultry prices are higher by 6.6%.

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