Wegmans Holds Line on Rising Prices
Higher food prices are definitely getting the attention
of Americans and Wegmans wants its customers to know that it feels their pain
and is taking steps to alleviate it. This week, the 77-store family-owned chain
announced that it was freezing prices on 40 top items through the end of the
The items tabbed for the freeze come right out of many consumers’ weekly
shopping lists. Included are bananas, cereal, orange juice, ground beef, coffee,
cold cuts, canned and frozen vegetables, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, rotisserie
chicken, yogurt and more.
"We considered the importance of an item to a family when choosing our
list of 40," said Colleen Wegman, president of the chain, in a statement. "Such
things as bananas, pasta, frozen vegetables, and laundry detergent are in most
shopping carts every week. They are products that families can’t do without,
so what they pay for these items really matters."
Nearly all of the items
on Wegmans’ list are the chain’s own brand.
"We can be more aggressive with pricing for our own brand because we
have better access to information on the factors that determine costs," said
Jo Natale, director of media relations for Wegmans. "These products are
already the best value in their respective category, and for that reason, they
are also usually the top-selling brand in a category."
"Costs for many of these products have risen and may continue to rise
over the next 9 months. If retail prices reflected the true cost of goods,
it would mean an additional $350 to $400 annually for a family of four."
chain is launching a campaign to make shoppers aware of the freeze. This week’s
ad will include the statement: "We commit that the 40 products
in this ad will not change price through the end of 2011. That’s what
we mean by consistent low prices. We hope this helps you and your family in
planning your weekly food budget."
- Despite Rising Costs, Wegmans Vows No Price Increases Through 2011 on 40 Products
Families Buy Most – Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Discussion Questions: What is your reaction to Wegmans’ price freeze? Will this message be more effective in keeping existing customers or bringing in new ones?