In Hawaii the supermarket chains price gouge their customer under the guise of higher shipping costs. About five years ago I contacted three divisions of Safeway, one in California, one in Illinois and one in Alaska. All of these stores were selling bananas for .79 per lb. Here on Maui, the price at the biggest chains were selling bananas for $1.29 per lb. and higher. So supermarkets on Maui blames the high price on bananas for shipping costs. How much does it cost to ship bananas up to Alaska? Or Chicago? They don't grow bananas in these two places and yet they do grow bananas on Maui where the price is 50 cents higher per lb...pure and simple it is price gouging.
The point being is that supermarkets in America have been price gouging its customers for a long time and probably doing this so that the CEO can get bigger annual bonuses which are tied to company performance and results. High prices resulting from high gross margins on store goods, demanded by the top executives, usually mean lower sales when a low priced supermarket enters your market area. Then all of these high priced stores are forced to lower its prices to stay competive.