ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
83°
Sunny
H 90° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    83°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 90° L 71°
  • clear-day
    87°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 90° L 71°
  • clear-day
    73°
    Morning
    Sunny. H 94° L 73°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Sticker shock: Bacon, other pork prices rising

A sustained surge in the cost of pork — caused in part by a virus that has killed as many as 7 million pigs — has forced several southwest Ohio restaurants and grocery stores to raise prices.

And more hikes may be on the horizon: Several local restaurant and grocery store owners who so far have avoided boosting prices say they won’t be able to do so much longer.

>> Read more trending stories  

“We absorbed it for a long time, as long as we could,” said Robert Bernhard Jr., owner of Dot’s Market, which operates grocery stores in Bellbrook and Kettering. “But we’ve had to adjust some of our prices, unfortunately.”

Kroger has seen wholesale price increases and has “raised some retail (prices) accordingly,” Kroger spokeswoman Rachael Betzler said.

Jack Gridley, who oversees meat and seafood for Dorothy Lane Market stores, said DLM has not raised fresh-pork prices, but did add 20 cents a pound to its spiral-sliced ham prices prior to Easter.

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which does not affect humans or food safety, kills 80 percent to 100 percent of the piglets that contract it. The virus began to emerge as a problem a year ago, and since then more than 4,000 outbreaks have been reported in at least 30 states, four Canadian provinces and several areas of Mexico.

The National Pork Producers Council said earlier this month that hog slaughter this summer could fall by more than 10 percent from 2013 levels because of PEDv. The council estimated that hog prices would rise by 15 to 25 percent, and consumer prices for pork by 10 to 12 percent. Droughts in several parts of the U.S. and the rising cost of grain used for livestock feed have contributed to the rising prices, which also have pushed beef prices higher.

But it’s pork belly — the cut from which bacon is made — that has seen some of the biggest jumps. Bernhard said the suggested retail price of a 1-pound package of Oscar Mayer bacon has jumped to $8.99 — up from $4.99 to $5.99 a year ago. Dot’s was selling it for less than the suggested retail price last week, but Bernhard said he was forced to raise the price of his bulk bacon from $3.99 to $4.49 per pound because of rising pork belly wholesale costs.

The region’s restaurants that utilize pork front and center on their menus are facing similar pressures.

The locally owned OinkADoodleMoo barbecue restaurant chain has been offering its “Buck A Bone” Wednesday special on pork ribs for five years, but the rising wholesale cost of pork has forced Steve Meyer, OinkADoodleMoo’s chief operating officer and a franchise owner, to raise the per-bone price to $1.15. The cost of the restaurants’ pulled-pork sandwich also rose, from $4.89 to $4.99.

Those modest price increases won’t cover Meyer’s skyrocketing food costs. The pork shoulder used for pulled pork that he was buying a year ago for 97 cents a pound now costs $1.81 a pound — an 87 percent increase.

“We’ll take part of the hit, and we’re feeling it,” Meyer said. “There are no winners here.”

Dan Davis, owner of Hickory River Smokehouse in Tipp City, said his restaurant’s wholesale pork costs have risen 70 cents a pound in recent months — “the largest increase that we have seen in a long time,” he said.

“We are reluctant to increase our menu prices, but it is something that we will eventually have to do in order to offset these drastic increases in food costs,” Davis said.

Mary Grilliot, co-owner of Company 7 BBQ, is in a similar position.

“So far we have not gone up, and we hope the price pressure will ease soon,” Grilliot said.

Pizza restaurants — which use plenty of pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon on their pies — are also keeping a close eye on their escalating costs.

“Our pork prices are up 16 to 21 percent since January,” said Roger Glass, owner of Marion’s Piazza, which serves up 6,000 pounds — three tons — of sausage a week at nine locations.

“We’re not at a crisis point yet, and we have absorbed the increase so far,” Glass said.

Another iconic Dayton-based pizza chain, Cassano’s Pizza King, has seen similar increases from apologetic pork suppliers that the chain has been doing business with for decades. But in a competitive southwest Ohio pizza market that has attracted several new entrants in the past few years, no one wants to start charging more.

“We’re holding our prices for right now,” said Vic “Chip” Cassano III, third-generation CEO of Cassano’s Pizza King. “And we’re hoping things turn around.”

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • A Charlotte woman said she was headed home from a work conference in Tampa Bay, Florida, but was stopped after going through a Transportation Safety Administration body scanner, according to WSOC-TV. She said she was told by TSA agents at the airport in Tampa Bay that she needed to be searched again after part of her body lit up on the scanner's screen, the exact spot where she was wearing a typical feminine hygiene product. >> Read more trending news  'The ladies were like, ‘We're going to have to search your vaginal area and buttocks,’ and I'm like, ‘That makes no sense to me. You can clearly tell that that's a feminine product.’' She refused the search and argued with TSA agents for about 20 minutes. “(They said) ‘Ma'am, this is just standard procedure we have to do this. If you don't allow us to do this, you will not be boarding your flight,’' she said. 'I'm crying the entire time because to me, this is very personal for you to search me in those areas, and I don't feel comfortable. They called in the police and everyone's standing there looking.' Eventually, she agreed to the search in a private room. They went up my leg, down my leg, in the front, then up my leg and down my leg in the back with my arms up. The entire time I'm crying,' she said. 'I felt like a criminal. She's patting me down and they're holding my hands up and they're going on my waistline.' When agents found nothing, they let her go.  Three days later, she's still confused, devastated and wants other women to know what happened. 'That's a real issue not just for myself, but for other women like that's so embarrassing to have to be stopped and searched like that,' she said. TSA Statement: 'We take reports of alleged impropriety very seriously and regret any distress the security screening process may have caused the passenger. TSA conducted a thorough review of the passenger's screening and concluded that all security protocols were followed as our officers worked to resolve an alarm. TSA officers must work to resolve all alarms at the checkpoint to ensure everyone arrives safely at their destination. However, incidents such as the one described are extremely rare and women should not be concerned about going through the security checkpoint.' Background provided by TSA: 'The advanced imaging technology scanner at the checkpoint helps TSA identify concealed metallic and nonmetallic items between the skin and clothing using millimeter-wave technology. So if an individual were to try to conceal something in the area of the groin, the machine would detect it. It is not out of the question that the machine could detect something placed inside an individual's underwear.
  • Two studies show there is no denying that most $15 minimum wage workers in Seattle are making more money, but a new University of Washington report shows more costs than benefits. >> Read more trending news Another study from the University of California Berkeley says the law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without losing jobs, but it did not examine other industries. Also, an investigation by the Albany Times-Union last year raised questions about its “predictively positive” studies. UW study shows number of jobs shrinking A new report – commissioned by the city and conducted by University of Washington economists – out Monday morning shows minimum wage workers in Seattle may be making more money, but the number of jobs available are shrinking. Researchers at the University of Washington said because of the 2014 law gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15, employers have done everything from cutting jobs to slashing hours. The report shows a jump from $11 to $13 an hour last year hit many employers hard, and as a result of cutbacks, lower-paid workers on average lost about $125 per month. According to the study, if the minimum wage law didn’t exist, there would 5,000 more lower-paying jobs available right now. UC Berkeley study shows minimum wage hasn’t cut jobs A report from the University of California Berkeley claims the $15 wage law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs. The report focused on food service jobs, which some critics said could be disproportionately affected if increased wages forced restaurants to cut workers' hours. Author Michael Reich says that hasn't been the case. 'Our results show that wages in food services did increase — indicating the policy achieved its goal,' the study said. Forbes reported that in an expose published last year, the Albany Times-Union used emails to explore the motivations of the Berkeley team – and those emails were predictably positive about increased minimum wages. The Times-Union found that the emails were “demonstrating a deep level of coordination between academics and advocates.” The expose highlighted that not one negative impact was found among Berkeley’s six positive studies on the minimum wage. About Seattle’s minimum wage In 2014, Seattle became one of the first cities to adopt a law aiming for a $15 minimum wage. San Francisco changed its wage around the same time. Seattle's law gave small businesses employing fewer than 500 people seven years to phase it in. Large employers had to do so over three or four years, depending on whether they offer health insurance to their employees.
  • Two prison inmates take their confinement out on some fellow inmates. A South Carolina inmate says he and another convicted murderer strangled four fellow prisoners in a bid to get the death penalty.   Denver Simmons told The Associated Press in a series of telephone calls that he and Jacob Philip plotted the April 7 killings at Kirkland Correctional Institution for months. Both men were sentenced to life without parole for double murderers.   Simmons told the AP they chose inmates who were weak or trusted them, and lured them one by one into Simmons' cell. The victims were John King, William Scruggs, Jimmy Ham, and Jason Kelley.   Simmons said he now realizes he's unlikely to get the death penalty.
  • A woman is robbed at gunpoint while walking her dog at LaFortune Park around 11:30 p.m. Monday. Tulsa police tell us three men approached the victim, taking her cell phone before running away into the park near 51st and South Yale. Officers got into a foot chase with the suspects, following them to a nearby apartment complex. Tulsa Police Sergeant David Brice said, “However we were able to recover the victim’s cell phone where the officer last saw that suspect run into the apartment complex.” None of the suspects have been arrested.
  • A shooting victim dies in the hospital after being gunned down on a grocery store parking lot. Tulsa police tell us a 26- to 27-year male was shot around 10:30 Monday night at the Turley Food Express at 504 East 56 Street North.  “Officers were able to locate witnesses that stated a black male arrived in the parking lot, exited a vehicle (and) fired multiple shots at the victim while in the parking lot,” said Tulsa Police Sergeant August Terbrock.   We're told witnesses had no description of the vehicle or the suspect. Crime scene detectives have taken over the investigation. The victim’s name has not been released.