By Makeida Antonio
With many staple grocery items seeing hikes due to worldwide shortages and supply chain issues, residents in Antigua and Barbuda have been using social media to discuss their concerns of spiralling food prices.
On Monday, Facebook users told Observer that they find the prices on supermarket shelves too high, with some saying they may have to change what they eat to accommodate their limited budgets.
As the country gets ready for the Christmas season, some shared their fear that this year’s festivities could be scaled back due to what they say is intense pressure on their wallets.
Observer visited a prominent supermarket yesterday and walked through the aisles to ask shoppers how rising food prices is affecting them.
One man said that prices in supermarkets across Antigua have risen significantly which will negatively impact the less fortunate members of society.
“My observation so far is that the prices on the shelves in the various supermarkets are up and, to date, our salaries remain the same. It is a disadvantage on the poor persons on society,” he said.
One woman explained that she does not shop in the country often, however, she has noticed that she is picking up less items with the same money each time she goes to the store.
“I don’t come to the supermarket here very often but once I do, I notice that the prices increase – a dollar, two dollars, each time I come, so there’s always an increase in price, whether it’s drinks, meat, fruit, canned goods, so I am finding it difficult to budget.
“You have 100 dollars, you want to come to the store to purchase something so you are always over because the prices have increased,” she explained.
An elderly man told Observer that the prices on the shelves change every time he takes a trip to the supermarket.
“Every time you come in here things go up and up and up. Things that are three pounds nearly six pounds, five dollars and something for it. [The price] goes up very, very high,” he said.
Another woman who reported that she shops every day for her food business believes that there needs to be a standard price set for certain goods at all supermarkets because the prices vary among the different establishments.
“Broccoli, lettuce and all those things, they have a ridiculous price on them. Sweet potatoes gone up; you get sweet potatoes for eight dollars, some places have them for six dollars and the two little pieces of broccoli for 12 dollars, maybe eight dollars.
“Lettuce, some places have it for even 20 dollars so basically certain things you see definitely going up,” she added.
Other shoppers said they are forced to be more mindful of the items that they pick up at the supermarket, with one man saying he has not eaten bacon in years because he simply cannot afford it.