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Price of Coffee Doubles as Inflation Fears Loom
By: David Deschesne
Fort Fairfield Journal, September 7, 2011
The average price of a popular store-brand coffee in this area recently increased from $2.47 per package to $4.29. However, the distributor attempted to disguise the true price increase by slightly reducing the amount of coffee in the package.
When sold at $2.47 the package contained thirteen ounces of coffee. The new packaging, priced at $4.29 has only eleven ounces. If the newly priced package contained the full thirteen ounces of its forbearer, it would cost $5.07—or double what it cost just twelve months ago.
The tactic of disguising increasing food prices is not new. Soup companies have been doing it for years. Young people entering the marketplace and buying their own food for the first time, today, do not have the frame of reference that older shoppers do. For example, new shoppers will not be aware that condensed tomato soup used to be so condensed it retained the shape of the can when dumped out; now it pours out like water. A popular macaroni and cheese dinner has had its cheese powder cut with so much starch fillers that it now takes two packages of cheese to get to the cheesy taste it originally had.
Other subtle tactics are reducing the number of chicken patties in a box from six to five and reducing the size of a store-brand pizza from thirteen inches down to eight.
At the end of the day, the laws of inflation prevail and consumers are finding it takes more money to buy the same amount of food or products than it did before, despite manufacturers’ best efforts to conceal those cost increases. Today’s young shoppers will be starting their food buying experience with a new frame of reference, believing the quality and quantity of prepackaged food to be “normal”- as if that’s the way it always had been sold—unaware that they are losing the purchasing power of their money on a daily basis.
The blame for higher prices is most commonly laid at the feet of the manufacturers and store owners. However, the true culprit is the money that shoppers are using to purchase their products with. Notwithstanding the seasonal or random fluctuations in the market due to supply and demand intricacies, when all products rise in price and stay at those elevated prices, it is an increase in the money supply that is usually to blame. In short, those who manipulate the money by placing more of it into circulation are to blame for higher prices.
With the “Quantitative Easing” plans of Congress since 2008, the private, for profit central bank called the “Federal Reserve” (which is not a branch of the Federal government) has been allowed to artificially increase the total amount of money in circulation, which is the root cause if its depreciating value and subsequent inflation of food prices as manufacturers and distributors scramble to adjust for the depreciation of that currency.
Shoppers can expect even more price hikes as Congress continues to allow for the creation of more artificial money into circulation as the “cure” for our economic woes.