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Shortages on meat, other foods in Wisconsin grocery stores means customers will pay higher prices

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Customers may already notice that they're paying more for certain items at grocery stores during this pandemic.

Jim Hyland, a spokesperson for Roundy's Supermarkets told CBS 58 costs are at an all time high on proteins. Its stores, including Pick N Save and Metro Market, have a limited supply of beef, grind and poultry supplies. There is currently a limit of 2 pork products, with the exception of spare ribs and back ribs.

Hyland said Roundy’s is seeing some improvement from suppliers and the company is hopeful costs will come down in the next three weeks.

Many people are spending more time at home, eating out less and baking more. All of those factors have affected the supply chain.

Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association, said it’s also difficult at this time to buy rice, toilet paper and household cleaning products. A slight aluminum shortage may mean customers will see higher prices on canned goods, including soup and some beverages. 

"As you see demand go up on products like this and you see supply limited or challenged, it will affect the price. There's just not much you can do about it," Scholz said.

In some cases, grocers aren't getting the amount of supply they ordered. Scholz said they may order 10 cases of a product and only get 6 cases.

So what is the reason customers are being charged higher prices? It starts with grocers being charged more for certain items.

Scholz said, "Grocers can only absorb so much of the price increase as do their wholesale suppliers, but at some point when those prices increase over a period of time, you're going to have to put those (increases) on the products. We've seen that especially in meat... Prices have been all over the board."

He said the good news is that the issue will "self correct" and prices will come down. There will be a greater supply of meat once processing plants reopen, and costs on aluminum products will go down once companies can process more containers.

"It's not like, 'Oh my gosh, all of a sudden this is the way it's going to be for the rest of our lives.' It's not," he said.



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