Supermarkets Prepare for Meat Shortages
Several processing plants have shut down due to a large number of workers contracting COVID-19. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, at least 13 processing plants have closed over the past two months, resulting in a 25% reduction in pork and a 10% reduction in beef. As shutdowns continue, supermarkets are preparing for meat shortages.
“There will be something to buy, '' says President of Cash Saver, Todd Bowell. “The most sensitive items are obviously the grind category, so ground beef, ground chuck and ground round. Those types of items are going to be the most sensitive because of the high utilization across the nation.”
Some stores like Walmart say they plan to limit customers on how much meat they can purchase and shoppers are already seeing a difference in prices.
“I’m afraid we're still going to see a market that may be pretty steep from a pricing stand point compared to what we’re used to seeing, especially in the beef categories. However, the USDA is actively involved in that and they're trying to get prices back more in line of what we’re used to seeing.”
Experts warn shoppers they should prepare for meat shortages for the next few weeks.