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Consumers are feeling the pinch of grocery inflation, according to recent data from the Consumer Brands Association. And, in a reversal of sentiment, they’re now placing the blame on President Biden’s policies and supply chain costs / constraints rather than the pandemic.

Only 6% of respondents to the Consumer Brands/Ipsos survey said that grocery inflation had no impact on their household budget, while nearly three-quarters (72%) said it had a significant impact. Just over one-third (35%) said that they’d held off purchasing or cut their spending on grocery items as a result.

The data, collected in June, showed that consumers’ perceptions of who’s responsible for inflation has shifted. In February, 30% blamed the pandemic, followed by Biden’s policies (27%) and supply chain costs and constraints (21%). According to the current findings, the pandemic is no longer seen as the primary cause. Only 19% of respondents said the pandemic was responsible, while 29% blamed Biden’s policies and 27% blamed the supply chain.

Half of Americans (50%) now say that tackling supply chain problems would have a positive impact on inflation, up from 47% in December.

In a recent article for Food Logistics, Thomas Madrecki, vice president of supply chain and logistics for the Consumer Brands Association, urged lawmakers to take action on the supply chain. He praised two recent efforts – the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), which Biden signed on June 16, and the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) initiative, which the Biden administration announced in March.

Madrecki also called on Congress to pass the USICA-COMPETES legislation, which establishes a Critical Supply Chain Resiliency Program at the Department of Commerce. The bill is currently in negotiation, and Madrecki noted that the House bill provides more robust funding for supply chain provisions than the Senate bill, which he says “risks watering down the immediate effectiveness.”

“This is a critical choice Congress must make,” Madrecki concluded. “Will it stand by as product shortages, delays, and price increases continue to wreak havoc, or will it take an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference for the supply chain today and into the future”?

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