Prices for household staples like diapers, detergent poised to surge

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Household supplies from detergent to diapers are poised to slap consumers with sticker shock this fall, even as the US slowly emerges from the pandemic.

Procter & Gamble — the maker of Tide detergent, Pampers diapers and Gillette razors — said Tuesday it plans to raise prices on a slew of products by September, citing the rising cost of raw materials and shipping.

The announcement comes just weeks after rival Kimberly-Clark, which makes Scott toilet paper and Huggies diapers, said it is planning price hikes in the mid-to-high-single digits by June.

Procter & Gamble blamed the hikes on the “impact of rising commodity prices,” including surging costs for raw materials like wood pulp and resin.

Price increases are coming in the food aisle as well, with shortages causing bizarre demand for products like Grape-Nuts cereal, which could be found on the black market for as much as $100 a box. Post, the Minnesota company that makes the high fiber, crunchy cereal, said in March that it had some production glitches related to high demand for the product.

Cheerios maker General Mills is ticking up prices on major brands, as is Hormel Foods Corp. which makes Jennie-O ground turkey and Skippy peanut butter. J.M. Smucker Co. has already boosted the price of Jif peanut butter and is considering hikes on its pet products, according to reports.

Paper products are going up because of a shortage in pulp and polymer resins while other products are becoming more expensive because of increased shipping and transportation costs due to the pandemic, manufacturers said.

The last time paper products’ prices went up significantly was in 2018 when there was a similar run on pulp, experts said. 

The consumer price index, which measure what consumers pay for most goods, jumped by 2.6 percent in the year ended March — or the biggest 12-month increase since August 2018, according to government data.

“It’s a different situation, as everywhere in the world countries are in very different places as far as coming out of the pandemic,” Procter & Gamble’s chief operating officer, Jon Moeller told The Wall Street Journal. “There is very strong consumption across the board.”

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