Food Shortages, Higher Prices for Groceries in Texas

J.R. Heimbigner

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shopper looking at goods in storePhoto by USDAgov (Creative Commons)

Trucks full of goods are stuck in multi-mile backups at a number of entry points in the the United States near Texas, and the impact of this is being felt all over the country. Let's look at one example.

Little Bear Produce is a Texas-based business in Texas that supplements its inventory with Mexican-grown produce to supply stores such as Wegmans, H-E-B, Publix, Albertsons, and Kroger. Bret Erickson, senior vice president of business affairs for Little Bear, says the added inspections have cost it “hundreds of thousands of dollars” already, not to mention the reduced paychecks for employees. (source)

"We would typically be receiving 10 to 12 loads of watermelon per day. Since last week, we have received zero of those shipments,” Bret Erickson of Little Bear Produce.

Because Little Bear did not meet its business obligations with major retailers, stores find other Mexican melons from farther away, such as from Arizona. Added distance means added fuel costs and expenses.

But these shortages and price increases affect much more than just watermelons and produce.

Analysts are saying that the prices of meat—specifically chicken breast, ground beef, and pork—are expected to go up again significantly over the course of 2022.Evercore ISI predicts that most protein prices are expected to increase "substantially" due to the higher feed costs, with the price of chicken breast reaching as high as 70% year-over-year in the first half of 2022. (source)

What do you think about this? Are you noticing higher prices and less items in stock yourself?

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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