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A customer exits a Kroger grocery store on Sept. 9 in Houston, Tx. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

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Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Kroger and Albertsons plan merger to combine 2 largest supermarket chains

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A pre-pandemic Seattle supermarket boasts row after row of prepackaged snacks. Even before the coronavirus pandemic put extra stress on grocery workers, keeping shelves stocked with the variety that Americans have come to expect took a hidden toll on producers, distributors and retail workers, says author Benjamin Lorr. David Ryder/Getty Images hide caption

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David Ryder/Getty Images

Kroger and the food workers union want grocery staff to be designated as first responders in the coronavirus pandemic. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

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Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Nonperishable goods, paper products and soap have been flying off shelves at American stores. Snacks and produce are selling more, too. Sunscreen? Not so much. Maxwell Posner/NPR hide caption

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Maxwell Posner/NPR

German grocers Aldi and Lidl are aggressively growing their U.S. footprint. Aldi, which aims to have 2,500 stores by 2022, has recently renovated this store (left) in Alexandria, Va. And Lidl's new location in Manassas, Va., was its 30th in the country. Alina Selyukh/NPR hide caption

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Alina Selyukh/NPR

Discount Grocers Aldi And Lidl Give U.S. Stores A Run For Their Money

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Retail food prices have just been through the longest period of deflation in about 60 years. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Grocery Prices Have Been Falling. Did You Notice?

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