One local grocery store and its customers are navigating inflation

Dorignac’s One Stop Food Center in Metairie.
Dorignac’s One Stop Food Center in Metairie. Photo credit Thanh Truong / Audacy

Making groceries has become a common frustration throughout the past year. In the last 12 months, food prices have shot up 11.4%, the highest annual increase in food prices in 23 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Certain staples at grocery stores have seen even more significant spikes. For example, the price of eggs has increased more than 39% since last year, butter is up 24%, and chicken prices rose more than 16% compared to August 2021.

At Dorignac’s in Metairie, inflated prices are just one factor in what’s been a rollercoaster-like experience for the family-owned and operated grocery store.

In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic, co-owner Jason Dorignac has seen panic buying, supply chain shortages, and an ever-shrinking worker pool. Some of those issues have settled down, but Dorignac says the pandemic has taught him that predictability is a luxury the pandemic has stripped away from the grocery business.

Dorignac told WWL Radio it’s anybody’s guess as to how high specific food prices may go and how long the exacerbated prices will stick around.

“It could last two months, it could last two years,” said Dorignac.

The Dorignacs agreed to give a glimpse of what they, as a family in the grocery business, are facing during this period of inflation.

Like many families who shop at their store, they are also hoping for a return to “normal” prices. But how realistic is that hope?