Picnic Costs Are Up Thanks to Meat Prices
Those hamburgers are costing you compared to pre-pandemic prices.
A annual survey of grocery store prices shows the cost of meat is still running higher since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of that jump comes from significant increases in meat prices. Pork spare ribs were $1.96, or almost 18 percent, more than the previous survey. Ground beef came in 82 cents, or 9 percent higher, while hotdog prices stayed steady.
The meat industry in Wisconsin and across the country is still working through the effects of the pandemic, from shutdowns at large processing plants because of COVID-19 outbreaks last spring to increased demand from consumers that has continued well into 2021.
Cassie Sonnentag, director of media relations for Wisconsin Farm Bureau, said the pandemic has revealed bottlenecks in the meat industry as well as the entire food system.
“Although supply issues we witnessed at the beginning of the pandemic have resolved themselves, the demand for food products still remains high which is why we’re seeing such robust food prices,” Sonnentag said.
Overall, eight of the 14 items on the survey increased in price. Aside from meat products, watermelon also saw a significant price increase, jumping 49 cents or 10 percent from 2019.
Sonnentag said one positive that has come out of the pandemic is that a larger share of consumers’ food dollars are going to farmers because of more in-home food consumption.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report found grocery sales increased 25 percent in 2020. The USDA estimates farmers receive 23.4 cents of every dollar spent on food consumed at home, almost 10 cents more than producers’ share of all food dollars.
Using that estimate, Sonnentag said farmers will likely receive $14.14 from this year’s Marketbasket survey total.
Wisconsinites Paying More For Fourth Of July Picnics Thanks To Higher Meat Prices was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.