Your Butcher Has Been Very Busy
A national meat shortage and higher prices drove many consumers to search for alternatives. While many small businesses furloughed employees and are struggling for survival, local butcher shops and area farmers saw steady increases in customers.
Most families bought in bulk as consumers limited their shopping. The trend increased pressure on food processing centers, especially for staple foods such as eggs and meat.
When outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease spread by the coronavirus, shuttered several meat processing plants in the country, grocery stores limited the amount of meat consumers could purchase. Costs soared.
According to the Associated Press, meat production has rebounded from its low point during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when dozens of plants were closed. But experts say consumer prices are likely to remain high and it will take months to work through a backlog of millions of pigs and cattle.
Grocery stores, which absorbed some of the meat price increases this spring, also may not pass along all the price cuts as they try to restore their profit margins.