We should have known it would come to this. We’ve been dealt all kinds of product shortages since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March. The most notable being the run on toilet paper and bare shelves. The latest product issue from the virus may not be as universal as toilet paper, but just as noteworthy to millions of Americans. Pepperoni.  It’s been getting more expensive since the response to the virus took hold and it’s getting harder for many pizza shops to secure for their pies.

Some pizza shop owners are just accepting the average 50% price hike since March. That's if they can get the amount they need to keep up with the overall increasing demand for pizza.  Others are trying new brands that may not be as pricey but customers won’t notice. Others say they are having a hard time getting new orders filled, period. Pork producers report having difficulties keeping production workers on the job so there is reduced output. Some aren’t fulfilling ordered like before and instead are sending out larger cuts of meat that need more processing before it can be turned into table ready products.

Sadly, it’s the smaller individually owned pizza shops and smaller community multi restaurant chains most affected.  The big national and international outfits typically negotiate long term deals with set prices for months, if not a year ahead which helps insulate them from spotty price issues, let alone  50% price hikes like what is happening now with pepperoni. Bloomberg reports the big pizza outfits like Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars haven’t experienced shortages or price increases due to their contract buying power.

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