P&G again hikes prices; brands such as Tide, Gain, Downy are impacted

Company blames production costs and preserving profit

Cincinnati’s corporate giant P&G announced new price hikes this week —one day after President Joe Biden discussed his plan for short- and long-term relief.

P&G said it will raise prices on Tide and Gain laundry detergent, Bounce and Downy softener and personal health items by eight percent. In October, P&G raised prices on baby, family, home and fabric care brands. CEO David S. Taylor said Americans do not seem to mind the higher prices.

“No, no, I will look for better quality, and do the best I can,” said Sharon Harris as she shopped in Cincinnati on Thursday. “I’m going to leave the Tide alone then.”

P&G blamed the price of production and preserving profits.

The company’s media relations team wrote, “P&G has seen substantial year-over year increases of commodity and transportation costs — in fact, these are the largest increases we’ve seen in about 20 years, and 50% higher than the next highest year.”

Cincinnati investment management firm Bahl & Gaynor’s Jim Russell said there’s too much demand for supply right now.

“Once you solve the omicron COVID issue, I think that the labor force will reengage in production,” Russell said. “We will have the goods and services that we need, the inflation rate will tend to moderate from the red hot levels.”

In its statement, P&G said it is working to find cost savings within other areas of its business.

“And, where we need to pass on some costs, we’re pairing those price increases with innovation wherever possible to continue to deliver great value for our consumers,” the statement says. “What we shared is that consumers continue to favor brands that deliver value. Additionally, pricing at the store shelf is at the sole discretion of the retailer.”

Russell predicts the inflation rate will also fall a point or two by May due to the federal reserve raising short term interest rates.

“What worries us a bit is it is seeping into wages,” Russell said. “Even a robust increase on wages is not keeping up with inflation right now. So, most Americans are seeing real purchasing power actually diminish or decline.”

Jayne Tomlin manages a local grocery store called Country Fresh Farm Markets.

“Sometimes price is just too high, and we can watch, and if things aren’t moving, that’s a good indication that price is high,” Tomlin said. “And sometimes, we do have to lower it even if it means us just not making the margin or any margin at all.”

Shoppers such as Harris are seeking out local stores, arguing corporate giant prices are not worth the quality.

“You’re making me spend more money, and you are giving me less of a product,” Harris said.

WCPO is a content partner of Cox First Media.

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