Gasoline prices are already at record high levels and now in response, some food prices are starting to creep up as well. Kris Friesleben, spokeswoman for the West Des Moines-based HyVee chain, says the price of some groceries will likely start to rise soon.
Friesleben says, "It probably will but not directly because of the rise in gas prices. People associate food prices and gas prices with the transportation of food from point A to point B and, for our company at least, we do not pass that charge along to customers."
Triple-A says gas prices in Iowa are averaging $3.34 a gallon, 12-cents higher than the national average. Still, Friesleben says the rising cost of groceries is more about petroleum products in general, not gasoline specifically. She says, "Where they see the price going up, it’s usually as a result of the food production line. Petroleum is used for all kinds of things food is stored in, for plastics, for trays and all kinds of things that are required to get that food packaged."
Friesleben says when a food supplier raises rates, the store will eventually have to follow suit. She says, "Most people understand there’s very low margins in food already so that if your supplier is raising prices, it’s just a matter of time before you have to pass some of that charge along to the customers." HyVee has more than 200 stores in seven Midwestern states.