Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Wegmans freezes prices on basic necessities

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets has pledged to not raise prices on 40 products this year, despite rising commodity and energy prices.

Wegmans, which operates 70 grocery stores in five U.S. states, will freeze prices on basic necessities such as vegetables, cereals, meat and poultry, the company said Tuesday.

"Costs for many of these products have risen and may continue to rise over the next nine months," said Wegmans spokesman Jo Natale. "If retail prices reflected the true cost of goods, it would mean an additional $350 to $400 annually for a family of four."

Most of the products being frozen are Wegmans own brand, Natale said.

The move comes against a backdrop of rising commodities prices, which have hit consumers in the developing world and are beginning to be felt in the United States.

The United Nations said earlier this month that its world food price index rose in February to its highest level since 1990, when the Food and Agriculture Organization started tracking prices. The increase in food prices comes as bad weather in many parts of the world has decreased supply, while robust economic growth in emerging economies has driven demand.

In addition, rising energy prices could push grocery prices higher due to increased transportation costs. Oil prices have spiked this week amid political instability in the Middle East.

Other companies have been sounding alarm bells about rising commodity prices, while pledging to shield consumers who are still recovering from a deep recession.

On Tuesday, Kraft Foods (KFT, Fortune 500) said rising prices for grains, wheat, and rice could add as much as $700 million to $800 million this year to the company's overall costs in North America.

Earlier this month, cereal maker Kellogg (K, Fortune 500) said that it has "implemented selective price increases to reflect higher input costs." Hershey's (HSY, Fortune 500), which is being hamstrung by high prices for cocoa and sugar, just lowered its earnings outlook for 2011. To top of page

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,409.72 269.48 1.57%
Nasdaq 4,691.87 97.42 2.12%
S&P 500 2,036.09 35.55 1.78%
Treasuries 1.46 0.00 0.07%
Data as of 3:27am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 12.70 0.52 4.27%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.69 0.56 5.53%
Ford Motor Co 12.39 0.23 1.89%
Apple Inc 93.59 1.55 1.68%
Citigroup Inc 40.44 1.96 5.09%
Data as of Jun 28
Sponsors

Sections

Sumner Redstone's National Amusements issued a warning Tuesday to Viacom executives who are fighting to keep their board seats, telling them that their legal challenges are futile. More

Investors are already sifting through the Brexit market rubble for opportunities. Morgan Stanley compiled a list of highly-rated stocks that have limited or no direct exposure to the situation in the U.K. More

Facebook has redesigned the share tools on other websites, part of a larger set of changes designed to spur more sharing on Facebook. More

Chipotle is set to launch a customer loyalty program that starts July 1 and runs through September. More