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'What $50 Gets You Today': Users Discuss Accuracy of Viral Video About US Grocery Prices

@Cowphobia86/Facebook
@Cowphobia86/Facebook

On March 15, 2024, popular comedy video creator Jonathan Harris (@Cowphobia86) — who is described on his Facebook page as a "wholesome ranch loving guy" — posted a Facebook reel playing on the topic of the grocery price increases U.S. consumers have experienced in recent years from inflation. After four days, the video had received more than 6 million views.

Harris' brief video pitted two sets of groceries against each other: "What $50 got you in 2010" versus "What $50 gets you today."

https://www.facebook.com/reel/7500717716641162

Harris — who has 437,000 followers on Facebook, 548,000 followers on Instagram, 2.1 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 8 million followers on TikTok — included two hashtags with the caption of the video that some commenters appeared to have missed: "#comedy" and "#funny."

One of the most-liked comments under the video came from a user who wrote, "I work in a grocery store and I know those few items would not cost $50. Stop it!"

The video was also discussed in a post on X that received nearly 2 million views in less than 24 hours. "Where are people buying groceries? This order is $18 at my local Walmart, not $50," the post read.

It's true that the six items displayed in the latter half of Harris' video cost around $18 at Walmart, not $50, according to Walmart.com. For example, when shopping online at a Walmart in Sacramento, California, one bunch of asparagus costs $3.57, a gallon of Great Value milk is $3.13, a 16-ounce Hidden Valley ranch dressing is $4.18, one red apple is $1.30, a dozen Great Value jumbo white eggs are $2.58 and a loaf of Sunbeam white bread is $2.48. The subtotal for these items is $17.24. (Snopes was unable to find reliable prices for 2010 to do a similar price comparison of the food shown in the first part of the video.)

Harris also posted the video as an Instagram reel, where one commenter wrote, "Oh man. I love your stuff but getting political? If that's all you got for $50 you should leave the shopping to someone else."

However, again, Harris used the hashtags "#comedy" and "#funny" in the caption of his video. One user who noticed the comedic nature of the clip posted under the Facebook reel, "It's supposed to be funny, guys. It's exaggerated for comedic purposes, like a caricature of the situation."

According to The Associated Press, as of February 2024, the prices of consumer goods were, on average, about 19% above where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Snopes reached out by email and Messenger to ask Harris about the discussions taking place about his video and will update this story if we receive a response.

Sources:

Rugaber, Christopher. "Consumers Are Increasingly Pushing Back against Price Increases — and Winning." The Associated Press, 25 Feb. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/inflation-consumers-price-gouging-spending-economy-999e81e2f869a0151e2ee6bbb63370af.

"Walmart." Walmart.com, https://www.walmart.com/.