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5% Rewards not enough to offset food inflation

Target shoppers whose Fourth of July activities involve more than eating Doritos and drinking Coke can expect to pay considerably more than last year. The company is again offering Doritos at two bags for $4, although this year the bag contains 11.5 ounces of product compared with 12 ounces last year, and Coke products are being offered at three 12-packs for $9 as opposed to last year’s comparable promotion of Pepsi product 12-packs for $3.

However, prices in other key areas are noticeably higher, which isn’t surprising given all the talk of late about food price inflation and retailers passing increased costs through to consumers. For example, Hormel brand St. Louis style ribs will cost the pork lover $1.99 a pound this year compared with $1.49, while corn prices doubled this year with five ears for $1 compared to 10 ears for $1 last year.

Ground beef patties are also more expensive this year with 80% lean burger patties offered at $2.49 a pound compared with $1.99 last year. The six-count package of Bubba brand burgers featured on the cover of this week’s circular for $6.99 is one dollar more than the same package feature on the back page of last year’s circular for $5.99.

Hot dogs cost more too. This year, Target featured a 16-ounce pack of Ball Park brand for $2.49 compared with last year’s 16-ounce package of Oscar Mayer dogs for $1.39. If you want to put that wiener in a Pepperidge Farm brand bun, it will cost $1.99 for an eight pack compared with last year when Target featured an eight pack of Market Pantry buns for $1.50.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts and baked beans cost more too. A 2.5-pound bag of frozen Market Pantry chicken breasts costs $5.99 this year compared with $5 last year, and a 28-ounce can of Bush’s baked beans edged up to 41.62 compared with $1.45 last year.

If you want to wash it down with a 59-ounce jug of Simply Lemonade it costs $2.50 this year compared with $1.99 last year.

A few things are cheaper. A 10-count pack of Market Pantry patriotic cookies costs $2.75, the same as last year, while one-pound of strawberries is only $1.79 this year compared with $1.99 last year.

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