The clip — which shows milk priced at $18, Doritos priced at $9 and more — comes from a user named Emily (@emilyinalaska_). Her TikTok has drawn more than 2 million views and sparked a major debate about how and why groceries are so expensive there.
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Alaska, and its countless unique qualities, has long been a source of fascination on TikTok. In the past, users have gone viral by revealing an Alaskan town where “everyone” lives in the same building, as well as a pair of neighboring islands that can take 15 days to travel between. On Twitter, a user also went viral after showing photos of an “abandoned” McDonald’s in a remote part of the state.
Emily recorded her clip inside a grocery store. She doesn’t specify where in Alaska she filmed it — only that it was not in one of the state’s major cities.
“$18 for milk,” she captioned her post.
The video showed all kinds of mind-blowing prices for everyday goods like coffee creamer, cheese and canned salsa. Through her captions, Emily tried to explain part of why groceries are so expensive in rural Alaska.
As she noted, the cost of living in Alaska is higher than the U.S. average. In fact, by some estimates, the cost of groceries can be as much as 41% higher.
Those numbers are even greater in certain rural areas. As Emily explained in her captions, food has to travel a long way to reach isolated parts of the state, which drives up the price. The issue has long been a source of contention in small towns.
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Despite the explanation, many TikTokers still couldn’t believe their eyes. Many called the prices “wild” or overly expensive.”
“$25 for cheese? I think I’d just buy a cow,” one user wrote.
“And y’all think NYC is expensive,” another added.
Meanwhile, several Alaskans chimed in to verify Emily’s claims.
“Thank you for posting!” one commenter wrote. “People don’t realize how expensive prices are here in rural Alaska.”
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