Over the past year the global pandemic disrupted food supply chains, paralyzed shipping, sickened workers and ultimately inflated consumer grocery costs around the globe. However, when it comes to beef and most proteins we (as in Meat N' Bone) did not see or feel much of an increase... until now.
We heard feed prices surged during Q4 of last year and continue to do so in 2021. The industry is facing a 12% increase in feed costs in 2021, which will mark the highest year-over-year inflation since 2011. The reason? COVID... well mostly.
There is also strong pressure from export markets (mainly China) willing to pay a pretty penny for pork, chicken and grain... which means basically everything is getting more expensive to produce.
Last but not least there are labor shortages in some plants (lowering supply of products such as Baby Back Ribs and Pork Shoulders) and there is also a lack of transportation (trucks!) which affects every product.
As the supply chain aligns and adopts to the new demand, prices will come down. When? We expect that to happen over the summer... but to be honest, we cannot be certain. Some forecasts expect current prices to remain for the rest of the year.
We have had to increase prices in about 45 of the 300 products we sell. We lowered prices on 6 of them.
For now expect to pay a bit more for some of products you love. Not only at Meat N' Bone but also at your favorite supermarket and restaurant. I expect to see many chefs adapt their menus to this new reality.
At Meat N' Bone, because of the way we source and supply we have managed to keep most of our prices flat. We work with small programs and source mostly USDA Prime and Wagyu from the MidWest of the US, these programs were not as heavily impacted by the pandemic and are more "boutique like", and yet we had to increase some of our beef prices for a few products: Outside Skirt, Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab and Wagyu-Angus New York and Ribeye. In some cases we have stopped selling some of our G1 Certified Choice steaks as prices started approaching Prime Grade.
We did lower our prices on Japanese Wagyu, across the board.
Outside of beef, we are seeing shortages in Indonesian Blue Swimming crab and Hog Snapper. We also had to increase pricing on our Ocean Trout.
While others are lowering their standards we stand firm. We will not abandon our farmers and suppliers who provide us with the highest quality ingredients. We may adjust certain cuts and add a few additions to our lineup... but our commitment to quality will remain.
As soon as prices come back down we will also lower our prices. That is our commitment to our customers.