While all of us are focusing on the lack of toilet paper and cleaning supplies at the supermarket, some basic foods were becoming more expensive.
It’s inflation in action. Prices of eggs, meat and poultry are up, sometimes way up.
John Alfano is the president of the five-store local chain Doris Italian Market. He says we can blame the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For sure, certain commodities, eggs is probably the one that stands out the most, where prices have really shot up, and availability, beef prices, we’ve noticed a huge increase in beef prices,” said Alfano.
The best example of the price increases? Eggs.
"Oh, 200 to 300%, we used to be $1.99 a dozen for jumbo eggs, we’re over $4 now,” Alfano said, adding that his store is keeping the markup low to help his customers.
Those rising food costs impact businesses further down the food chain.
At Buenos Aires Bakery and Cafe in Pembroke Pines, owner Ryne Morozowski says his profits are down about 60%.
“Prices are going up but they’re stabilizing, it’s a difficult task to keep our costs low, we’re not gouging prices, we haven’t raised any prices,” Morozowski said, adding that so far, he’s managed to keep all of his employees on the job.
The pandemic makes it harder for Morozowski to operate his business in a variety of ways. For example, he buys his milk at wholesale markets which now only allow two gallons per customer.
“Normally, we can go through anywhere from 60 to 80 gallons of milk in a week, so only buying two gallons doesn’t really cut it for us,” said Morozowski.
The big box supermarkets are feeling the same pinch. You will see some price hikes in Publix, for example, and the company sent us a statement saying, “When customers see an increase in pricing, it is because the cost associated with the item has gone up.”
For consumers, though, there is a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. The prices of basic commodities appear to be leveling off, and the merchants think soon, they’ll be back to normal.
“We already see it in the poultry market, the beef is still kinda tight, we’re hoping shortly that will ease up as well,” Alfano said.
“We’re thankful for people coming out and just, be safe, people need to stay at home as long as they can unless they have to go get some food,” Morozowski said.
Food for thought, as the pandemic continues to impact the food we eat.