Pandemics like the coronavirus can have crippling effects on our food supply. The bottleneck starts from the processing plants.
Small pizza shops across the nation are reporting higher prices for pepperoni, according to Bloomberg, which found a South Dakota shop is paying $4.12 a pound compared to $2.87 in January 2019.
Emily, a New York City pizza shop, is paying $6 a pound, up from $4 earlier this year, chef and co-owner Matthew Hyland told Bloomberg.
“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” Hyland told Bloomberg. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”
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The small pizza restaurants said they weren’t passing the higher costs along to customers at this time.
According to Bloomberg, larg pizza chains including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Papa John’s haven’t experienced shortages or price increases as they buy ingredients with long-term contracts.
In June, Papa John’s even introduced a new Shaq-a-Roni pizza, the pizza giant’s largest slices to date. Shaquille O’Neal, a Papa John’s board member and franchise owner, came up with for the 16-inch extra-large pizza that sells for $12 and has 66 pepperoni per pie.
But consumers have seen higher prices increase this year at the grocery store on many staples amid the pandemic, which shut down many restaurants.
Perishable items have been more popular with consumers buying more meat, seafood, fruits, dairy and vegetables as more people stay home to eat.
COVID-19 and panic buying caused various shortages, including hand sanitizer, toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, meat and yeast.
Rising prices and more: Here are five things to know about how grocery shopping has changed in the pandemic
Coronavirus crisis: These 19 groceries have driven up your bill the most during pandemic
Contributing: Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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