Getting Ripped Off at the Grocery Store

Manufacturers' prices are soaring despite the fact that what goes into their products -- corn, wheat, oil -- is getting cheaper.

"I've noticed that prices are going up and the quantity is going down," one woman said. "Things are getting smaller these days."

Observant shoppers said they are noticing smaller packaging on items like ice cream, bread, coffee and cereal.  By downsizing packaging, manufacturers are, in effect, raising prices. 

Some major grocery chains are also speaking out against product manufacturers. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Safeway's CEO, Steven Burd, criticized some national brands for raising prices while commodity costs are coming down.

Kellogg's Corn Pops are up on the wholesale market by 17 percent, despite the fact that corn prices have plunged 52 percent. Kraft raised the wholesale price of a box of Macaroni and Cheese an average of 9 percent, even though wheat and cheese prices have made huge drops.

"They don't operate day-to-day like people live," grocery store owner Dirk Stump said. "They operate six month-to-six month or year=to-year," grocery store owner Dirk Stump said. 

Stump said that he belives that if consumers avoid high-price items, prices will come down. In the meantime, Stump said that consumers need to change the way they shop. 

"You've got to read the ads, shop the specials and look for special prices on the shelf," Stump said. "And don't be afraid to buy the house brand."

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