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Grocers see highest price increase since 1974

(WDTV)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 3:15 PM EDT
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Center-plate groceries just had their biggest one-month increase since 1974. That's according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those numbers include the prices of beef, chicken, pork, and steak.

The prices went up by 2.6% in April.

Local grocers, however, are successfully staying a float and accommodating their consumers.

"The supply chain is quite taxed with the shortages on beef and chicken. Not so much the products are in shortage, but being able to process them to get them to us. The virus has hit processing plants, so their capacity is down to nearly 40%," says Darren Beasley, executive vice president of sales of A.F. Wendling's Food Service in Buckhannon.

Wendling's sells to restaurants and individuals alike.

"A good fill rate, that's what we call in the industry would be in the upper 90s coming in from our vendors, right now they're probably in the mid 70s, which is not good," he adds.

Maple Valley Meat Market, another privately owned grocer local to Bridgeport, caters predominantly to individuals.

"About 8 weeks ago I was paying around $2.70 to $2.80 a pound, right now a fresh chuck shoulder is costing me $7.35 a pound," says company president Isaac Thomas.

The businesses are doing everything they can to give consumers a break.

Maple Valley is operating on a less-percentage profit, and Wendling's personnel are coaching customers to be more flexible with their menu and to look at lower cost items.

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