Inflation hit a 40-year high last year, and while inflation has slowed and even declined in recent months, consumers are still shelling out more than usual for their groceries.
Cheddar News correspondent Shannon LaNier visited a store in New Rochelle, New York, just north of New York City, to take a look at the price tags for common items, and found that one of the costlier sections of the grocery store these days is the dairy aisle.
"The price increases are coming every week, especially on eggs," said Jose Felipe, store manager of Rochelle Farms. He added that potato-based products are also seeing higher prices.
"French fries, for example, are in short supply and also very expensive," he said.
While the consumer price index declined 0.1 percent in December, food prices were up 0.3 percent month-over-month and 10.4 percent year-over-year. Eggs, meanwhile, saw some of the biggest gains in the whole index, rising nearly 60 percent year-over-year.
Producers have generally blamed the forced culling of millions of chickens in response to an avian flu outbreak. Others, however, say industry collusion is the biggest factor.
Farmer-led advocacy group Farm Action sent a letter urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "to promptly open an investigation into the egg industry, prosecute any violations of the antitrust laws it finds within, and ultimately, get the American people their money back.”
The group said the price increases were the result of a "collusive scheme among industry leaders to turn inflationary conditions and an avian flu outbreak into an opportunity to extract egregious profits reaching as high as 40 percent."