grocery shopper checking receipt while leaning over cart
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
December 16, 2021 ·  4 min read

Woman in rural Alaska reveals shocking prices of grocery items in a video viewed 2M times

If you think groceries in your area are expensive, then Alaska might make you think twice. You’ll be stunned at how some of the most basic items will drain your bank account. A local Alaskan Tik Toker has recently highlighted this issue. Don’t let your jaw drop too hard…

In late November, @emilynalaska_ (aka Emily) took to TikTok and posted the informative video. Since then, the video has gone massively viral. The video has particularly left commenters horrified by the exorbitant prices.

Emily’s Trip Through The Grocery Aisle In Alaska

The first place that Emily visits in her video is the cheese section. There, she shows some blocks of Tillamook cheese. There were two prices, based on their type – $26.29 or $24.99. After that, Emily goes to where milk is kept. There she shows the cost of a milk carton – over $18. Creamer, meanwhile, had a price tag of $12.89.

To put things in perspective, as per the USDA, the November 2021 average national price for a gallon’s worth of whole milk was $3.72 [2].

Emily then moves on to the meat section. There, a 1 lb sliced ham package carried a price of $10.29. A Tostitos salsa jar was priced at $7.99 and a bag of Starbucks coffee cost about $15. The items displayed by Emily were all approximately standard-sized.

Alaska is one of the most remote states in the United States. Coupled with the harsh winters, the cost of living in the state can be quite expensive. As per a report on PayScale, the average living cost in Alaska’s Anchorage is 28% more than the average of the nation. And, groceries, according to PayScale, cost 26% more than the national average. [3]

The situation gets even worse the further you head into the rural areas. Living costs are a massive 33% more than the average of the nation in villages in Alaska like Salcha. Salcha sits several hundred miles from Anchorage.

Emily explains that the price of goods rises since barges or planes have to carry them this far to the rural areas.

Viewers Received A Proper Realization

Emily’s video has become immensely popular, gathering over 2M views since it was posted. Most of the viewers have been shocked by how high the prices were for everyday groceries. Here are some of the top comments:

Credits: @emilyinalaska

I’ll never complain about grocery prices in NYC again”­ – @vivkirutwind

$25 for cheese. I think I’d just buy a cow” – @darkwingswildlife

The short video was also welcomed by some fellow Alaskan residents. @ibdrennen thanked Emily for posting the video and said that the situation is similar in Bethel, Alaska. People often fail to realize the expense of getting groceries in rural Alaska.

In a more controversial turn, comments also raised questions about the states’ average salary and wage. SquareUp[4] reports that in 2021, Alaska’s minimum wage stood at $10.34. This made it to the list of 29 states in the US whose minimum wage is more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

In another video, Emily showed that at one of Anchorage’s McDonald’s outlets, the minimum hourly wage was $12.50. This made commenters recoil in even more horror, after realizing that one cheese block would need a person to work for 2 hours. However, it should be noted that Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city. not exactly rural.

This is why Emily, along with some other commenters, clarified in a more recent video that prices are much lower in the major cities. For example, she showed that a $24 cheese block was only $11.99 at Anchorage. She explained that Fairbanks or Anchorage has much cheaper groceries.

Read: This Grocery Store Sells Healthy Fresh Foods for the Price of Junk Food

This Is Not The First Or Only Time

Previously, TikTok user @oh_its_suzi[5] had posted a video of shopping in a rural Alaskan supermarket. Commenters had been shocked back then as well. In her video, she showed the canola oil cost $11.29 while a Cool Ranch Doritos bag was $7.99.


Shopping trip in Alaska!

♬ original sound – Suzi

Outside Alaska, and the US, the northern parts of Canada face the same exorbitant grocery prices [6]. TikToker @arcticmakeup, (aka Kyra Flaherty) had a similar reveal on the prices in Iqaluit, in Nunavut, one of Canada’s northern territories. There a 200m roll of aluminum foil cost her $69.99. In fact, the case is so bad that she thinks accessible and affordable food would prevent suicide in Northern Canada.


Reply to @shytheslumpgod #greenscreen @thejagmeetsingh #inuit #poverty #nunavut #groceryprices #nativetiktok #arcticmakeup

♬ Running Away – VANO 3000 & BADBADNOTGOOD & Samuel T. Herring

Unfortunately, the problems are deep-rooted for Northern Canada. But for the case of Alaska’s rural areas, it is more environment-based. As such, for anyone who wants to move to Alaska, Emily’s videos are a good reason why you should look for a place near major hubs.

Keep Reading: Viral Video Of Parents Being Escorted To Buy Locked-Up Baby Formula At Walmart Kicks Off Debate


  1. Woman in Rural Alaska Reveals Shocking Prices of Grocery Items in Video Viewed 2M Times.” Newsweek. Anabelle doliner. December 2, 2021.
  2. AMS
  3. Cost of Living in Anchorage, Alaska.” Pay Scale
  4. Alaska Minimum Wage 2022: Everything You Need To Know.” Square Up. Collen Egan. 2021.
  5. Tiktok. oh_its_suzi.
  6. “The Inuk woman using TikTok to expose high food prices in the North” MacLean’s. July 29, 2021