With inflation rising, U.S. shoppers say grocery costs have gone up. New research suggests it’s not as high as many believe.

A majority of U.S. shoppers say their dough isn’t stretching far enough at the supermarket these days, reports Supermarket News. According to new Consumer Pulse Survey info from data analytics company Dunnhumby, grocery costs now top the list of Americans’ concerns—along with personal finances and the country’s economic health—even surpassing the fear of Covid-19. Prices have risen, the company said, but not as high as shoppers believe. While survey respondents estimated food inflation at almost 18 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only about a 7 percent jump in its food-at-home Consumer Price Index in January. More than half of those surveyed said they employed “value-seeking behaviors” such as coupon saving, stocking sale products, and buying items in bulk. But while consumer perceptions of prices were inflated, their confidence in supermarkets is rising. The Dunnhumby poll found that more than a third of shoppers thought stores were handling pandemic precautions well, in contrast to the 22 percent approval rate they gave the government. —Safiya Charles

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