This week’s wine news: It’s all about prices — supermarket shoppers cast a wary eye, Illinois weed prices stay high, and European Union sets tariff hikes
• Not in my supermarket: Shoppers, who’ve seen shortages and price hikes during the pandemic, are focusing on value at the supermarket, says a new study. The dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey, reports Supermarket News, found a significant lack of consumer confidence that stores are doing a good job dealing the with COVID-19 crisis, and “remain concerned about rising food prices and are adhering to a value-focused shopping strategy.” The study doesn’t specifically mention wine, but since a majority of U.S. wine purchases are made in supermarkets, it stands we’re also watching those prices. In September, only half of U.S. survey respondents thought stores were doing a good job, down from 52 percent in July and 60 percent in May.
• Pricey legal weed: Illinois’ legal weed shortage appears to be over, says the Chicago Sun-Times, but prices have not come down. “According to industry analysts, Illinois has the most expensive weed in the country. Budzu, a crowdsourcing site that tracks the price of cannabis, says the average cost for an eighth of an ounce is roughly $62. In Colorado, the same amount costs around $33.” Reasons for the high prices vary, says the story, but one analyst blamed them on weed growers and a lack of competition. The illegal price, according to one website, is about half the legal price.
• Tariff hikes coming? Bloomberg reports that the European Union has set a Nov. 10 target date for triggering tariffs on as much as $4 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation over illegal aid to Boeing Co. This would come in retaliation for the Trump Administration’s tariffs last year, including the 25 percent wine levy. Goods targeted for a tariff include aircraft-related products, spirits and nuts, and handbags and chemicals. U.S. wine is not apparently on the list, but the U.S. exports relatively little wine to the EU, and especially compared to bourbon and similar whiskeys.