MYNORTHWEST LIFESTYLE

Seattle has some of the highest grocery prices in the country

Jan 21, 2024, 12:30 PM | Updated: Jan 22, 2024, 5:17 pm

A customer shops for milk at a grocery store in San Anselmo, California, on Dec. 12, 2023. (Photo: ...

A customer shops for milk at a grocery store in San Anselmo, California, on Dec. 12, 2023. (Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

(Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

Food prices are taking a bigger bite out of the wallets of Washingtonians than the residents of almost any other state in the U.S.

Going further, a federal survey shows Seattle residents pay more for groceries than just about any other city in America.

A new analysis shows that while the average household in the U.S. pays an average $270.21 on food at the grocery store weekly, residents of Washington have to pay an average $287.67 per week.  That translates to at least $1,150 a month, depending on how the calendar falls.

The evaluation came from data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey collected from Oct. 18-30, 2023 and presented in a new report on health and wellness website HelpAdvisor.com.

Question of the Day: Most people who live in Seattle say the cost of living ‘is getting to be too much’

The only states with higher weekly grocery costs are California ($297.72), Nevada ($294.76) and Mississippi (290.64). Alaska and Hawaii were excluded from the report.

The state with the lowest food cost is Wisconsin, which comes in at $221.46 a week.

When it comes to ranking individual cities for grocery prices, the data crunched and presented on HealthAdvisor.com lists Seattle as the sixth most-expensive city in the country, ahead of New York City, Dallas and Chicago.

Weekly grocery expenses in Seattle come in at $289.23 a week, or at least $1,156.92 for the average household every month, depending on the calendar.

The cities with higher average weekly grocery costs are Miami ($327.89), Houston ($302.65), Riverside, California, ($300.50), San Francisco ($298.44) and Los Angeles ($295.33).

National news: US inflation edges up, fueled by food and housing prices, but many other costs rise only mildly

The U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey looked at data measuring the average amount of money households spent on food prepared and eaten at home. It did not take into account meals eaten at restaurants or other venues.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the Consumer Price Index for food prepared and eaten at home was up 1.7% in November, in a year-over-year average.

Ferguson takes on grocery chain merger over potential higher prices

This recent analysis comes on the heels of Washington filing a lawsuit to block the proposed merger of the two largest grocery store chains operating in the state: Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer and QFC, and Albertsons, which owns Safeway.

“If Kroger and Albertson’s merge, they will – simply put – dwarf the competition,” Ferguson said. “Shoppers will have fewer choices and less competition, and that results in higher prices.”

Ferguson’s office: Kroger-Albertson merger ‘bad’ for consumers

And Ferguson said the companies, themselves, know it.

“During our investigation, we reviewed hundreds of thousands of records. We uncovered internal chats – between corporate executives and other employees,” Ferguson said. “After rumors of a proposed merger surfaced, a vice president of marketing with Albertsons wrote – and I’m quoting – ‘You’re basically creating a monopoly in grocery, with the merger.’ It makes no sense.”

In a statement to KIRO Newsradio, the companies said, “We are disappointed in Attorney General Ferguson’s premature decision to file a lawsuit while the merger is still under regulatory review.”

Contributing: Heather Bosch, KIRO Newsradio

You can read more of Lisa Brooks’ stories here. Follow Lisa on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Seattle has some of the highest grocery prices in the country