With Inflation Not Letting Up, Shoppers Cut Back on Staples

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Household staples are no longer immune to inflation.

American consumers are starting to cut costs on mainstays from toothpaste to baby formula as inflation hits a swath of the economy that had thus far proven resistant to substantial price increases.

Procter & Gamble Co., Clorox Co., Kraft Heinz Co. and other consumer-products giants have made a bet that consumers will pay up for household products even as inflation takes hold. Over the past year, the companies have seen profits and market share grow as they have raised prices on products from detergent and diapers to snacks and soda.

Now consumers, hit by soaring costs for everything from gasoline to child care, are drawing a line, analysts and retailers say. Shoppers are buying staples in smaller quantities, switching to cheaper, store-name brands and more rigorously hunting for deals.

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