Olive Garden, Red Lobster to Raise Prices.

17 09 2008

Shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.  The Olive Garden and Red Lobster are having to raise prices to stay profitable.

The company said its menu prices at Olive Garden and Red Lobster have typically gone up between 2 percent and 3 percent each year, with price increases usually falling in the middle of that range. But for 2009, Darden said it will have to raise prices by a percentage closer to the high end of that range.

“It’s not a dramatic increase,” said Chief Operating Officer Drew Madsen. “But it’s a little more pricing than we have taken in the past.”

Darden said the economy — specifically higher costs for food, energy and labor — is to blame. Most restaurants have been pressed by significantly higher costs in the past year with prices for grain and meat rising to record levels and state and federal governments boosting the minimum wage for workers.

 I don’t eat at either.  My mom looooooves Olive Garden though.  It just one of those unfortunate trends.  Not even the chains are immune from the higher prices that cause the mom ‘n pop shops to struggle.


Think Products are Shrinking at the Supermarket?

17 06 2008

If you think you’re seeing smaller boxes in the supermarket, you right.  I saw an story on WLAJ tonight at 6 that said Kellogg is shrinking some of their boxes of cereal.  I did a quick google search and came to this USA Today article.  It’s not just cereal.  It’s pretty much everything.

Many major ice cream makers, hit by higher dairy costs, have shrunk their standard containers to 1.5 quarts from 1.75 quarts, about 1 cup less. The industry downsized from the traditional half-gallon (2 quarts) five years ago. In both cases, only the package shrank, not the price.

“Downsizing is nothing but a sneaky price increase,” says Edgar Dworsky, former Massachusetts assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division, now editor of Mouseprint.org, a consumer website. “I’m waiting to open a carton of eggs and see only 11.”

Manufacturer’s say they are not trying to be sneaky.

We did not in any way try to hide this,” insists Tim Kahn, CEO of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, which also makes — and has shrunk — Edy’s. “The package-size change couldn’t be any more visible.” Read the rest of this entry »

Storms Hurt Corn Crop

11 06 2008

Surprise!  Another hit to the corn supply means higher prices at the grocery store for us.  Last week’s storms have flooded fields in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana where a big chunk of the nation’s corn is grown.

“The crop is in serious trouble,” said Jim Stephens, president of Farmers National Commodities Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska, who helps manage more than 3,600 farms across the Midwest. He said corn will top $8 a bushel this year.

The weather is endangering a U.S. crop already expected by the USDA to decline from last year’s record harvest after farmers planted 8.1 percent fewer acres. Global inventories may fall to the lowest levels in 24 years by Aug. 31, the USDA said. Read the rest of this entry »

Higher Prices to Ruin Memorial Day…

22 05 2008

…and I don’t mean gas prices.  I saw the following story on ABC 3 and honestly, it’s just depressing.

This weekend thousands of you will fire up the barbeque to kick-off the summer grilling season, but if that’s the plan, you better bring the bank.

From ketchup to paper plates food inflation is the highest in almost two decades.  

The average price of a cook out will cost American’s six percent more than last year. 

This is just the beginning. Analysts say next year, it’ll be even more expensive  just to stay home and make burgers.

Man, they can even ruin grilling.  I already got my burgers and buns…we don’t need no paper plates or ketchup….I’m kidding.  I’m not that cheap, but really, that is depressing to think about it.  You can’t leave because it’s too expensive and you can’t stay home because it’s too expensive.  We might as well not have holidays.