Why A Wine Photo Has Trader Joe's Shoppers Crying Inflation

As temperatures rose, popsicles swamped the frozen sections at supermarkets, and calendars filled up with beach days and bonfire evenings, news of America's inflation crisis threw a bucket of cold water on everyone's sunny moods. While reports clearly indicated that the country was facing its worst food inflation crisis in four decades, things got real for consumers when its effects could be seen on the price tags at weekly grocery runs (via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

First, the cost of eggs — the food that's seen the greatest price increase from inflation — nearly doubled, and then the price of chicken soared so much that even your favorite fast food sandwiches haven't been able to keep up with inflation. While these changes are rightfully worrisome, perhaps nothing makes the world's current economic troubles clearer than watching the prices of previously cheap booze skyrocket.

In a recent post shared on Reddit, a Trader Joe's shopper seemed to be shopping blissfully unaware of just how serious the inflation crisis was — until they reached the wine section. Sharing an image of the Charles Shaw Merlot sitting next to an eye-popping price tag of $4.49, the Redditor wrote: "I didn't realize how bad inflation was until I saw the price." Considering the fact that Trader Joes' Charles Shaw wines were so cheap that they were famously dubbed "Two Buck Chuck," the wines' new 2022 price tag hit shoppers like a ton of bricks.

Fans are grieving over the loss of true Two Buck Chuck

Trader Joe's is widely known for its Two Buck Chuck wines, named so because they cost a mere $2 — or at least they did. Now, Florida shoppers have found the famous wines priced at $4.49. Although Redditors assure that the price hike isn't reflected at all Trader Joe's stores and that some states still sell them for $2, fans are disappointed that "todays generation will never understand 'two buck chuck.'" It turns out that TJ's first started selling Charles Shaw wines for $1.99 back in 2002, but the price has since gone through its fair share of fluctuations. It was hiked to $2.49 in 2013 in California — and even more in other states thanks to higher taxes and shipping costs, according to Food & Wine.

While prices were rolled back to $1.99 in California a few years later, only a few remember the times when the Two Buck Chuck actually cost just $2 across the country. "Dang. Two Buck Chuck became Three Buck Chuck became Four-and-a-Half Buck Chuck. Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?" wrote one shopper as others jokingly suggested new names for the no-longer Two Buck Chuck: "Five dollar frank" and "few-buck-chuck" seem to be trending choices.