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There's a Shortage of This Beloved Pizza Topping

Prices for this addition are through the roof right now.
eating pizza

There have always been debates about which pizza topping is the best. Some are healthier than others, and some are super unusual (but oddly delicious?). But which topping is hard to find right now? The answer may surprise you!

Meat is expensive and supplies are backed up because of the coronavirus pandemic. And that means there's a pepperoni shortage and it costs more. Pizza shops all over the country are seeing the cost go up around $2 per pound. One shop in South Dakota used to get their pepperoni for $2.87 per pound in January 2019 and now has to pay $4.12. Similarly, a New York City parlor is used to paying $4 per pound but now has to pay $6, according to Bloomberg.

RELATED: The Surprising Reason Your Pizza Delivery Is Taking Longer Than Ever Before

Meat prices and supplies have been anything but normal since the start of the pandemic in March. Meatpacking plants all over the country were suddenly shutting down because workers were testing positive for the virus. Smithfield Foods' had to shut down one of its facilities, as did Cargill. Between March and July, over 100,000 employees at Tyson plants tested positive.

That backed up production, forcing costs for the smaller supply of meat to go up. At grocery stores, this amounted to ground beef costing around $7.99 per pound instead of $3.99 a pound.

This is bad news for smaller pizza restaurants, but larger chains are weathering the storm. They aren't as affected by high pepperoni prices, and people want pizza more than ever right now. Dominos has seen a 16% increase in sales during the pandemic. Papa John's, too, is seeing sales grow over 20% each month compared to the same month last year. For local pizzerias, though, menu price increases aren't favorable. So they are sticking to paying the higher costs amidst the pepperoni shortage for now.

"Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it's important that we keep it accessible," one pizza restaurant owner in New York City told Bloomberg.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more
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