Business

Brazil’s grocery shopping habits turned on their head amid soaring inflation

Across the board, heightened food prices have led consumers to seek out alternatives for their grocery shopping — from switching to wholesale to buying near-expired food

inflation shopping habits
Photo: Silvia Zamboni/Folhapress

During a Monday meeting with investors, Brazil’s Central Bank Chairman Roberto Campos Neto called the country’s latest inflation numbers “surprising.” Consumer prices rose by 1.62 percent in March, hardly a bolt from the blue after over a year of consistently climbing costs. Year-to-date inflation now stands at 11.3 percent, the highest in 19 years, and this relentless rise in prices is the biggest challenge for the bank’s policymakers, investors, and, above all, Brazilian consumers.

The problem is multifaceted and interconnected. In March, inflation was largely driven by rising fuel prices, but in a country as heavily dependent on trucks...

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