Grocery prices have reached record highs and some lawmakers have had enough.

Connecticut officials are officially looking into why grocery stores are continually raising their prices despite cooling inflation.

Upon learning supermarket profits reached a 70-year-high, CT Attorney General William Tong launched an inquiry into what is causing these skyrocketing food and grocery prices. He, along with other Connecticut lawmakers, have expressed concern these price hikes are fueled by greed.

What The Inquiry Means

Turkey Prices At Record High This Thanksgiving Season
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
loading...

This investigation encompasses all large and small grocers in the state of Connecticut, and that is raising questions if other states could potentially join in or start their own.

The investigation hopes to uncover why food and groceries are priced the way they are.  Said Tong, per a report from Supermarketnews.com, the inquiry will continue until lawmakers "have an understanding of this market."

Tong personally zeroed in on the rising costs of eggs and almonds. "The price is always going up," he said, which he said "impacts everyone."

Read More: Egg Prices on the Rise Again in New York

Connecticut State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff was first to raise alarm after seeing a report that price gouging is 50% responsible for inflation. "I have no problem about profits, but it’s the greed," Duff said.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food prices rose by 25% between 2019 and 2023.

Following that, the Federal Trade Commission deduced that supermarket chains took advantage of pandemic-era disruptions to line their own pockets.

While CT's investigation continues, New Yorkers are wondering if the Empire State will also look into the matter.

NY Already Reacting to Predatory Measures

Senate Republicans Hold News Conference On Inflation On Capitol Hill
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
loading...

New York has already put forth legislation to curb price increases in the food industry.  Following Wendy's announcement that it will use "dynamic pricing" on its menu items to change their costs depending on the time of day, Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara introduced a bill that would ban surge pricing on food items.

Read More: New Yorkers Furious "Surge Pricing" Coming to Wendy's

Wendy's quickly backtracked its plans, but the idea has sparked concerns that grocery stores and restaurants could inevitably adopt the practice.

According to a report from The New York Times, consumers are frustrated that prices have not come down despite cooling inflation. The outlet found that grocery chains are still raising prices, just not as quickly as before, and shoppers are taking notice.

Not only that, shoppers are changing their spending habits and that has snack companies like PepsiCo spiraling because they're seeing a stark drop in sales.

When consumers suspect that a company is taking advantage of inflation and other disasters to pad their profits, they are less forgiving than before and are now more likely to take their business elsewhere.

That is why more people are doing their grocery shopping at Walmart, Target, and Aldi; because their prices are seen as more affordable than major grocery chains.

New York's Stance on Price Gouging

Getty Images
Getty Images
loading...

WIBX spoke with First Deputy Press Secretary Halimah Elmariah, who explained that all states follow their own set of rules to open a  price gouging investigation, which means New York has a different set of guidelines than Connecticut's.

CT was able to satisfy its requirements to look into price gouging at supermarkets. The same might not be said for New York.

Elmariah explained that the state expanded its price gouging rules in March 2023 to include "taking unfair advantage of the public during abnormal disruptions of the market."

"Abnormal disruptions" include power failures, extreme supply shortages, strikes, extreme weather events, and other instances deemed out-of-the-ordinary. The state has successfully investigated and sued several companies that violated these guidelines.

An example of the state enforcing its anti-price gouging rules is when Walgreens illegally raised the price of baby formula during the 2022 shortage.

The state also sued Hillandale Farms Corporation in 2020 and proved it illegally raised the price of its eggs when the nation was in lockdown. The state also won its price gouging suit against Quality King, a wholesale grocery and drug distributor, for selling Lysol products at inflated prices at the start of the pandemic.

 

At this time, the state has not opened a similar investigation to that of Connecticut's. Elmariah could not confirm nor deny New York is looking at its options at this time - but it is likely the state, as well as many others, are interested in what happens next.

The nation still struggling with lingering issues from the pandemic such as supply chain issues and staffing shortages, as well as the wars in Ukraine and Israel. This probably satisfies the state's definition of "abnormal disruptions" to the market.

If you feel you are being charged unfairly for essential goods and services, fill out the AG's Price Gouging Complaint Form. It should be noted the office is dealing with a "volume of complaints," so it's heavily advised to provide proof of all wrongdoing to help your case - and theirs.

Big Frog 104 logo
Get our free mobile app

The 35 Poorest Counties in New York State

Our friends at 27/7 WallSt have done it again. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, the website identified the 35 poorest counties in New York State.

Data included poverty levels, unemployment numbers, overall population, and median household incomes. Can you guess which county came in at #1?

Gallery Credit: Megan

Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in New York State

New York is one of the most expensive states to call home, but there are some areas that are gentle on the wallet. According to HomeSnacks, they deduced the top 10 most affordable cities and towns in the Empire State.

They looked into data from the U.S. Census, median home and rent prices, as well as median income of a particular area's residents. Affordability was also determined based on availability and access to services and conveniences.

Below are the top 10 places that let residents keep more cash in their wallets.

Gallery Credit: Megan

New York's Most Miserable Cities

According to Road Snacks, these are New York's 10 most miserable cities because apparently everything is going wrong there.

As for what determines how miserable a city is, Road Snacks compared 169 cities using Census data and other scientific stuff from other "legitimate" sources. They looked into divorce rates, commute times, cost of living, and other statistics to whip up this "fun" new list.

In the end, these 10 cities were deemed to be the gloomiest in New York State.

Gallery Credit: Megan

More From Big Frog 104