These Two Grocery Store Staples are More Expensive Than Ever, New Report Finds
While you may never be used to paying more at the grocery store, it might not come as a surprise that some pantry staples are more expensive right now. The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on grocery prices since cases initially started to go up in March. Widespread empty shelves and high demand for some products caused major changes to the cost of things like flour, eggs, and meat.
While some of those prices have come down, two types of meat are seeing a 20% cost increase. If you want beef and veal, you're going to have to pay more, according to CNN.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on how much grocery prices have changed during COVID-19. Both beef and veal saw a sharp cost increase starting in April and May, reaching numbers 18% higher than the previous year's. That is a jump from about $3.99 a pound for ground beef, to $7.99 per pound. This continued into June, but it rose by 2% more.
All in all, meat and poultry prices went up 11% during those three months. Along with an increase in demand because people were eating at home more, many meatpacking plants had to close their doors temporarily because workers were getting the virus.
This happened to several big-name companies. Smithfield Foods' facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a huge supplier of pork products. They had to shut down on April 14 because there were over 230 positive cases among their workers. Cargill also had over 150 employees catch the virus in April, also leading to a shutdown of their Pennsylvania facility.
As for Tyson, over 10,000 employees tested positive for the coronavirus between March and the end of July. The revelation led the company to announce they are now testing all employees every week at their meatpacking plants across the country. They are also hiring a chief medical officer and nurses to administer the tests.
For more grocery news, sign up for our newsletter!