The Wall Street Journal reports that "restaurants are taking on grocery stores over value, contending that eating out can be a better deal than cooking at home.
"They have some recent data on their side. Consumer prices at grocery stores and restaurants increased 13.1% and 7.6%, respectively, year-over-year in July, according to the Labor Department - the biggest inflationary gap between grocery stores and restaurants since the 1970s. The unusual pricing dynamic has given ammunition to fast-food chains and sit-down restaurants, which are increasingly touting their prices and overall value in advertisements."
One example cited in the piece: "Brooke Tucker, a 25-year-old barista from Durham, N.C., turning to fast food over groceries nearly daily. A full meal from KFC costs $7, she said, while a recent grocery run for chips, dip and sushi set her back $19."
- KC's View:
The problem here is that "value" is being equated with "price," which just isn't accurate.
Sure, it may cost more to buy the ingredients for a salad than it does to buy a burger and fries at a fast feeder, but it isn't a remotely fair comparison. That said, just saying it isn't fair isn't enough. Not by a long shot.
Supermarkets ought to engage with this debate. Now. Forcefully. Relentlessly.