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Food prices up nationally, effects not yet felt locally

By Andrea Olson, KECI Reporter, aolson@keci.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 10:30:58 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 10:52:47 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A national report came out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing us that food prices have increased. NBC Montana wanted to know if people in Missoula are seeing a difference.

Food -- we love it, eat it and buy it.  We shop all the time at grocery stores despite rising prices. 

"I haven't noticed a lot of rising prices, especially here, but I will say that beef prices have been extremely high and, in fact, we are just starting to see them slowly come back down but they've reached some pretty all-time highs for us," said Pattee Creek Market Owner Jim Edwards.  

He says the rising cost of beef hasn't affected his store too much. Customers seem to adjust what they are buying.

"The beef sections have shrunk and the pork sections have increased, and the pork sections have too because people have just cut back on beef," said Edwards.

The study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that beef and veal shoppers were thrown some of the biggest increases. Prices have jumped 4 percent from January.

"I guess meat prices have risen a little bit but I always buy free range organic so that's expensive anyways," said shopper Alex Campbell.

During the cold winter months is when we can really see prices go up.

"There's kind of a rise during the winter time, with produce," said Edwards.  

But some local shoppers at Pattee Creek Market, haven't noticed a change this year.

"Not here. I haven't noticed it here," said shopper Sheila Mischke.  

"I haven't noticed anything," said shopper Molly Strand.  

The agriculture department expects grocery store prices to increase as much as 3.5 percent this year. That's up from 0.9 percent last year.

"We here at the Pattee Creek keep our margins lower and we know the prices are going to go back up, so we eat it for a couple of weeks because sometimes the prices spike so high, customers about have a heart attack,” said Edwards.

But Campbell says it doesn't affect her too much.

"Generally the dollar increase here or there isn't making too much of a difference in my life," said Campbell.