Knorr Sidekicks in store with price tag and caption 'These used to be 97 cents' (l) Knorr Sidekicks in store with caption 'These used to be 97 cents' (c) Knorr Sidekicks in store with price tag and caption 'These used to be 97 cents' (r)

@bronnycooper/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Cries in inflation’: Walmart customer shares shock at Knorr pasta now being $2.27 instead of 97 cents

‘Essentials from Walmart and Dollar Tree are starting to not even be affordable anymore.’

 

Braden Bjella

Trending

As inflation remains high, users on TikTok are posting videos lamenting the rising price of goods. 

In January of this year, one TikTok user visited Walmart and purchased the same groceries one year apart. While food prices have risen by 8.4% since last year, the TikToker reported spending 50% more for the same items.

Similar price hikes were seen at Costco, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and numerous other places of business.

Now, another user’s clip has gone viral after sharing their story of inflation sticker shock. In a video with over 474,000 views as of Saturday, TikTok user Bronny (@bronnycooper) shares her confusion at the price increase of Knorr’s Sidekicks pasta at Walmart.

“$2.27 for Sidekicks,” she says in the video. “Oh my god.”

@bronnycooper Cries in inflation 🥲 #inflation #groceryprices #groceryshopping #priceincrease #sidekicks #knorr ♬ original sound – Bronny Cooper

In the overlay text, she adds, “These used to be 97 cents.”

She notes in a later video that this was the unit price and that Walmart was offering a deal where customers could get four packets for $7. While this is cheaper per unit at $1.75, it is still significantly more expensive than its former $0.97 price tag. She clarifies in a comment that the store was located in Ontario, Canada.

There are numerous reasons why grocery store prices remain high, even after many of the supply chain issues of the pandemic have been resolved. 

“Analysts say that there’s no straight answer on when grocery prices will drop as it relies on a number of factors, including post-pandemic consumer demand, ongoing supply chain shortages, geopolitical events such as the war in Ukraine, and unstable weather patterns,” wrote Nik Popli and Solcyre Burga for TIME in January.

However, there could be another factor at play: corporate profit-seeking.

In an article published by Vox in March, author Whizy Kim notes that numerous food companies have reported incredibly increased profits during this period of high food costs.

Kim notes that food giant Cargill had a profit of $6.68 billion in the 2022 fiscal year, which Kim notes is “double what its profits were in 2020.” 

“Tyson Foods, the largest meat company in the US, also more than doubled its profits between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Packaged foods manufacturer General Mills, which owns a variety of cereal brands as well as food brands like Annie’s, Betty Crocker, Chex, and Bisquick, has raised prices five times since 2021 and indicated another price hike could be coming soon. At the end of last year, its profits were up 97 percent compared to the previous quarter, and up 16 percent annually,” Kim writes.

“Conagra, which owns packaged food brands like Healthy Choice, Duncan Hines, and Reddi-Wip, noted a 22 percent profit increase in its last quarterly earnings report,” the author continues.

In the comments section of Bronny’s video, other users complained about the rising costs of other goods.

“I remember back in early 2000’s you could get three 12 packs of soda for $7,” a user recalled.

“45 oz Blue Bonnet butter been 2.68 for years,” another added. “now it’s 4.68.”

“I feel that way about the price of Pringles! Use to be $.99, now $2.99,” stated a third. “Left them on the shelf.”

We’ve reached out to Walmart via its media contact form and Bronny via email.

Update 1:08pm CT, Apr. 30, 2023: In an email to the Daily Dot, Bronny shared her thoughts on rising prices.

“For starters, I’m located in Ontario, Canada, and here we’ve noticed a drastic increase in grocery prices across the board,” she wrote. “It’s not just [convenience] foods, like the Sidekick’s pasta, but also staples like bread, milk, fruits, and vegetables. Obviously, the prices of things go up over time, but over the last year and a bit (starting most noticeably around the time of the pandemic), the price increases on grocery items have climbed more than anyone could even say is just simple inflation.”

“I’m sure every Canadian has noticed these grocery price increases, whether you pay close attention to the price of each item you’re buying or not. Everyone’s overall grocery bills have grown a significant amount,” she continued. “Fortunately, my family and I are at a comfortable financial stage in our lives, but that wasn’t always the case, and I feel for the people who were in the situation I once was having to strategically budget my grocery bill every week.”

“And sure, convenience foods are always going to be a little bit more expensive, but sometimes the ease and accessibility to these items is a priority for some people,” she noted. “There were also several comments on the video I posted telling me to ‘shop at other stores where it’s cheaper,’ when in reality the Walmart I was shopping at is one of the cheaper grocery stores in my area. For a lot of people there isn’t a plethora of stores to choose where to shop for groceries, so telling people to simply ‘go somewhere else’ is a privilege some might not realize they have.”

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