In the aftermath of the COVID-19 Lockdowns in 2020, we all experienced issues finding the items we want and need at the Grocery Store. Combine that reality with how Inflation has impacted many Americans, people are struggling financially around the United States.

Even though New Jersey is on the list of top ten Median Annual Salaries in America, the state also has the third highest Household Expenses in the United States.  Living in The Garden State can be expensive on top of the impact of Inflation on everyone's lives.

The website Consumer Affairs gathered data from 15 categories to find out how Grocery Prices have increased around the United States.  Their research found that Grocery Prices have risen by 5.3% over the last 12 months nationwide and prices increased by 25.5% over the last two years.

How Much Has New Jersey Grocery Prices Increased

While everyone's Grocery Prices have increased across the United States, the spike in prices in New Jersey is worse than most.  According to Consumer Affairs research, New Jersey has the fifth-highest spike in Grocery Prices at 6.8% over the last 12 months.

Consumer Affairs analysis found two major reasons for the increase in Grocery Prices over the last two years.  Grocery stores have been dealing with supply chain issues as they try to keep up with consumer demands.  We first experienced this problem in 2020 and the issue has not significantly improved over the last couple of years.

The other reason that Grocery Prices have increased is more complicated.  Each Grocery Store's operating costs vary between different regions of the United States and they are adjusting prices according to their area's demographics.

In order to cover overhead expenses, stores are adjusting their prices to not just cover expenses but if an area has a higher median income, they will raise prices based on what they believe their area can afford to pay.

The Grocery Store Products with the highest 12-month changes:

1. Baby formula: 17.5%
2. Candy/gum: 9.7%
3. Pet food: 8.5%
4. Cookies/Crackers: 6.6%
5. Seasonings/Sauces: 5.7%
6. Snacks: 5.6%
7. Condiments/Spreads/Dressing: 5.2%
8. Fruit/vegetables: 4.9%
9. Cereal: 4.8%
10. Baby food: 3.6%

Speaking of Grocery Shopping, everyone has their favorite stores and many of us will go out of our way to visit specific Supermarkets.  Here are the highest-rated and reviewed Supermarkets in New Jersey, did your favorite store make the list?

The best supermarkets in New Jersey

These are the highest-rated supermarkets in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. The ratings are based on reviews left by customers on Google. To be included in the top, a supermarket had to have a substantial number of reviews (typically at leas a thousand).