Meat prices hit historic high, labor issues across supply chain biggest driving factor

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A chunk of meat is going to cost you.

Video from inside a nationwide retailer shows pounds of meat costing hundreds of dollars.

"Meat has seen probably a steeper incline than other industries," said Cassi Maxey, the co-owner of The Meat Up, a neighborhood meat shop in northwest Fresno.

She said she's familiar with the price increase.

They've been doing everything they can to keep prices as low as possible for the customers, while keeping their business afloat.

"Right now our prime fillets are $58.99 a pound," Maxey said while holding an 8-ounce steak. "It's going to be around $28-$30 dollars for one steak. I would say a year ago, we would've been more in the high $20s per pound."

Customers who shop local and at grocery chains are noticing, but one customer said, for the quality, she'll pay the price.

"I think meat prices have gone up everywhere, so I feel like if theirs went up, then it's just par for the course and then everything has gone up so i think we're just getting used to it now," said Adriana Myovich.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, since September 2020, prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs have increased 10.5%.

Demand for meat products slowed when the pandemic hit, but as things opened back up, demand went through the roof.

Jack Mulroy, the sales manager for Certified Meat Products and JD Food, which supplies The Meat Up, said labor issues up and down the supply chain is the biggest driving factor.

"You're seeing it at the packing facilities, the production facilities, the distribution facilities and it just creates massive bottlenecks throughout the supply chain," said Mulroy.

In addition, material and equipment prices have also gone up.

Mulroy said across the board, beef prices are at historic highs.

"The markets will come down." Mulroy said. "Will they come down to where they once were? It's the million-dollar question."

Mexey said just because prices have gone up doesn't mean people have to shy away from buying. Maxey suggests looking at other meat products that are much more affordable.

For instance, the prime filet was around $30 for an 8-ounce steak, a top sirloin at the same size is less than $10.

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