Grocery shoppers are ‘euphoric,’ adding supply chain pressure: Stew Leonard’s CEO

Stew Leonard’s CEO on rising food demand, prices

Stew Leonard’s CEO Stew Leonard Jr. weighs in on food inflation. 

Stew Leonard’s CEO Stew Leonard Jr. said shoppers' desire to return to "normal" is adding pressure to supply chains. 

Grocery stores are currently seeing higher costs and more unstable inventory despite pandemic recovery. 

"You don't know how much of this [food inflation] is actually price-driven and how much of it is just supply and demand-driven," Leonard said on FOX Business’ "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Wednesday. "People are euphoric, it seems. Our customers are coming in [and they feel like] life's getting back to normal."

GROCERIES ARE GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE DUE TO LABOR SHORTAGES ACROSS INDUSTRIES

Leonard noted recent buying habits indicate people are eager to celebrate, pointing to his company selling "ten times more balloons" this Memorial Day compared to last year. 

"People are starting to rejoice a little bit," he told host Neil Cavuto. "And I think what it's done is it's put pressure on the supply chain."

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC COULD PERMANENTLY CHANGE GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery buying habits show people are ready to celebrate: Stew Leonard’s CEO

Stew Leonard’s CEO Stew Leonard Jr. discusses how the food industry is reacting to coronavirus recovery. 

The last consumer price index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported food staples like fruits and vegetables increased by 1% in the month of March while meat, poultry, fish, and eggs went up by 0.7%.

When examining the consumer price index over a 12-month period, the BLS noted that the "food at home index" increased by 3.3%.

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Labor shortages — including retail workers and other employees who are essential to the grocery industry — have also been credited as the reason for the food inflation trend. A shortage of truck drivers has caused additional inventory issues for stores unable to stock preferred items. 

"The airlines found there’s a bigger lift to the number of passengers right now than they expected. I'm sure cruise lines will feel the same thing. And we're feeling it in the food industry right now," Leonard said. 

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FOX Business’ Cortney Moore contributed to this article. 

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