As we cross into the third year of the pandemic, we’ve all started to notice increasing prices; not only on groceries, but nearly everything we buy. Sometimes by just a few cents and sometimes by several dollars — all creating a cumulative strain on our bills and budgets. As operators of a food manufacturing business, we’re lucky to have a clearer insight into what may be driving higher prices.
The rising cost of business.
Like everyone else running a business right now, we are facing higher costs this year. Operating under COVID was more expensive as we made every effort to protect our workforce. Overseas shipping problems meant equipment we purchase increased in price. A lumber shortage increased the cost of the wooden pallets we use. The boxes we use to ship our products got more expensive. Prices of raw ingredients went up more than we've seen in years.
But, these challenges only seemed to partially explain the higher prices we’ve experienced personally as consumers.
Inflation or gouging?
Like other shoppers, we've felt that things have gotten out of hand. Grocery prices are increasing disproportionately to inflation and what we’ve experienced first-hand as food business owners. As reported by multiple news outlets [Fortune, CBS News], many companies have been using the pandemic and inflation as a cover to increase corporate profits. As a family-owned business that prioritizes customers over profit, this news was frustrating, yet not too surprising. That frustration has been driving our behind-the-scenes decisions regarding our own prices this year.
When developing our pricing strategy for 2022, we opted to think like our customers. How would the average person feel if they saw Santé Nuts increase in price by 10% or more on the shelf? As a team, we decided that it wasn’t fair to burden our end customers with the full weight of our manufacturing cost increases.
What this means for Santé and our customers.
Although some of our wholesale pricing was affected, we were able to keep both our MSRP and website prices the same. This comes with some risk to us as business owners, because we’re not able to invest back as much into our business for the future. But for the sake of our customers, we know it's worth that risk — something we wish more brands would shoulder. We hope someone who finds our Candied Pecans in the grocery aisle will still be able to pick it up and make it their new favorite snack.