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PA food supplier warns Americans getting squeezed by inflation are becoming 'resistant' to higher prices

American grocery shoppers and food suppliers alike are "tightening it up" within budgets as inflationary pressures weigh heavily on states like Pennsylvania.

As the Keystone State saw inflation last year dig deeper into residents’ wallets than any other state, one Philly-based food supplier is warning that the fight may not be over yet.

"We're concentrating all the time on having enough product and the right product for our customers," TMK Produce’s buyer-sales lead Mike Watson told FOX Business’ Jeff Flock during an appearance on "Varney & Co." Monday. "And, we can see that they're resistant to some of these higher prices as they continue."

"The volume may tighten up a little bit. It's what we see as our customers are buying more often, [but] less at each purchase," he continued.

The Philadelphia-based produce supplier has been caught between higher input costs and consumers struggling to pay for inflationary prices. According to ConsumerAffairs, Pennsylvania saw the highest grocery inflation rate of any state in 2023, at an 8.2% increase year-over-year.


ConsumerAffairs’ analysis also comparatively noted that a family of four in Colorado who would have spent an average of $750 per month on groceries paid $21.75 more last year, while the same family in Pennsylvania forked up $61.50 more per month.

"They're tightening it up a little bit," Watson noted of consumer trends.

Inflation may be gradually cooling, but the average American is still shelling out a lot more money for everyday necessities.

The typical U.S. household needed to pay $213 more a month in January to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation, according to new calculations from Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

Americans are paying on average $605 more each month compared with the same time two years ago and $1,019 more compared with three years ago, before the inflation crisis began. 

On the wholesale side, inflation rose much more than economists expected in January, up 0.3%. In another sign that points to the stickiness of high inflation, core prices – which exclude the more volatile measurements of food and energy – surged 0.5% for the month. That is higher than both the 0.1% estimate and the flat reading recorded last month.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden took aim at grocery stores, blaming them for "ripping people off" with high pricing amid the continued inflation blame game.


"Inflation is coming down. It’s now lower in America than any other major economy in the world," Biden said during a speech at South Carolina’s First in the Nation Dinner. "The cost of eggs, milk, chicken, gas, and so many other essential items have come down."

"But for all we’ve done to bring prices down, there are still too many corporations in America ripping people off," the president continued, "price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation."


FOX Business’ Megan Henney and FOX News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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