Grocery prices in Mass. among highest in country this holiday season. Here’s what got more expensive

WALTHAM, Mass. — Grocery prices in Massachusetts are among the highest in the United States this holiday season, according to a new report.

Consumer Affairs analysis of 15 data points found that prices at grocery stores in the Bay State have spiked 6.6% over the last year. To put this into perspective, a Bay State family that spends $500 on their grocery bill can now expect to hand over an extra $33.

Pennsylvania (8.2%), Vermont (7%), Maryland (7%), West Virginia (6.9%), and New Jersey (6.8%) are the only states that have seen larger increases in grocery prices.

At the city level, data showed that Boston has seen price increases of 6.7%. Only Philadelphia (7.4%), Albany (7.2%), Syracuse (7.1%), and Baltimore (7%) ranked ahead.

The analysis of 150,000 stores nationwide, collected with the help of Datasembly, showed that grocery prices on the national level are 5.3% higher this holiday season compared to the last and prices are 25% higher than what we saw in 2022.

Consumer Affairs also published a list of items that have seen noteable hikes in price between October 2022 and October 2023:

  • Baby formula: (17.5%)
  • Candy/gum: (9.7%)
  • Pet food: (8.5%)
  • Cookies/Crackers: (+6.6%)
  • Beverages: (+6.5%)
  • Seasonings/Sauces: (+5.7%)
  • Snacks: (+5.6%)
  • Condiments/Spreads/Dressing: (+5.2%)
  • Fruit/vegetables: (+4.9%)
  • Cereal: (+4.8%)
  • Baby food: (+3.6%)
  • Bakery: (+3.4%)
  • Baking: (+3.4%)
  • Grains/Beans/Pasta: (+1.5%)

So why does price inflation vary in different states and cities?

“Reasons include the differences between supply chain and overhead expenses,” Julie Companey, Vericast’s director of client strategy for the grocery industry, told Consumer Affairs. “Like local labor, utilities, tax, and real estate costs.”

To read the full report, click here.

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