What is the history of inflation at Albertsons, Target, Kroger, Walmart?

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Datasembly, a provider of real-time, online product data, recently launched its Grocery Price Index tool, which enables CPG companies and retailers to stay ahead of grocery prices, monitor the competition and improve pricing and promotional strategies. The company provides access to billions of grocery and retail price records from every store to hundreds of retailers. More recently, Data assembly work with WGB to curate a list – a price inflation dashboard – to show how inflation is affecting some of the major products and product categories in the grocery store. This dashboard provides year-over-year price change data for 273 products across 10,370 unique stores spanning four retail chains: Albertsons, Target, Kroger and Walmart. To better understand the dashboard and its meaning for retail, WGB recently caught up with Datasembly CEO Ben Reich.

Jennifer Strailey: Which scorecard categories are most inflation-sensitive?

Ben Reich: According to the scorecard, the top three categories showing dramatic year-over-year price inflation are produce (12.1%), meat and seafood (9.7%) and condiments. , sauces and spices (8.7%) as of January 12, 2022. These three categories saw notable peaks through the fourth quarter of 2021 and continue to increase in January 2022. So far in January 2022, the category condiments, sauces and spices grew the most year-over-year at 21.3%, followed by the candy category at 20.3%.

Grocery Price Tracker Datasembly

Based on your inflation dashboard (in the categories we have selected for the WGB basket), what trends do you see and where do you think prices are going? Are prices fluctuating or is inflation causing high prices that are here to stay for the foreseeable future?

Inflation is at its highest point in nearly 40 years, and we expect this to continue in the near future. Food manufacturers and grocers have faced higher costs for commodities, labor, transportation and other expenses during the pandemic. These costs have continued to rise, leading manufacturers to pass some of these costs on to their retail customers, who in turn have passed some of them on to consumers…these are not factors that will change radically in the near future. We anticipate this will likely create demand for new private label products, demonstrate new elasticity ranges for key value items, and create a substantial shift in long-standing consumer behaviors.

How can food retailers benefit from tracking inflation across the store and how can they leverage this data?

The ability to track inflation across the store will provide retailers with critical market-wide insights they can leverage to price products. These inflation trends can strategically be used to pass price increases/decreases on to the customer to manage customer value perception and customer loyalty. A holistic view of categories and key value elements (KVIs) can help manage this on shelves throughout the year, ensuring a balanced approach to these changes. We have found that this information, coupled with real-time local pricing, promotion and product assortment data, are critical assets that help retailers meet these challenges.

What is the most interesting or surprising data point to emerge from the Inflation Dashboard?

Inflation for the product category increased from 1.6% to 19.6% from the start of the fourth quarter to the end of the fourth quarter (October to December), demonstrating the continued volatility of the supply chain and labor issues.

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