ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
47°
Sunny
H 60° L 38°
  • cloudy-day
    47°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 60° L 38°
  • clear-day
    59°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 60° L 38°
  • clear-night
    53°
    Evening
    Clear. H 63° L 43°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb 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.

News

  • Atlanta police have been handing out the flyers across the city telling people that a permit is needed to give food to the homeless. The fliers are being used as a warning to those trying to help the homeless. Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon found one group who received more than a warning. Instead of getting praise for helping Atlanta’s homeless, Adele Maclean and Marlon Kautz say they’re getting punished for it. “We’re looking at a citation,” Maclean said. Channel 2 Action News’ cameras were there when police wrote the pair a ticket for handing out food to the homeless without a permit. “I mean outrageous, right? Of all the things to be punished for, giving free food to people who are hungry?” Maclean told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses The pair said they give food to the homeless every Sunday in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, and have never heard of needing a permit. “It seems ridiculous to me that they would be spending their time and resources on stopping people from feeding the homeless,” said Maclean said. Wilfon contacted the city to find out what was going on. A city representative said the Fulton and DeKalb County boards of health both require permits to give food to the homeless and the city of Atlanta enforces those requirements. While the requirements aren’t new, Atlanta police told Wilfon they recently started more strictly enforcing them for several reasons. The city believes there are better ways to help the homeless, like getting them into programs and shelters. They are also taking issue with the litter the food distributions leave behind. Ben Parks, who runs a nonprofit for the homeless, told Wilfon he can see the argument from both sides. “I understand where the city’s coming from. I understand when they see groups come in and leave a bunch of trash behind,' Parks said. While this ordinance is also on the books in DeKalb County, DeKalb police told Wilfon Wednesday that they are not using police to enforce it. They’re leaving that up to the health department.
  • A candidate for mayor says she has always wondered if the current mayor of Atlanta won his seat fair and square. Mary Norwood lost to current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009. Make sure to tune in to WSB-TV as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood go head-to-head in a live runoff debate moderated by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer, LIVE on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.  Norwood told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston that she never spoke publicly about the accusation because what she said she knew what happened wasn't significant enough to upset the entire system.  [WATCH: Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] But our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a copy of a transcript of a private June meeting where she brought up the 2009 election.  'I just want you to be who you say you are, live where you say you live and vote once,' Norwood told Huddleston.  [WATCH: Mary Norwood speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] Norwood raised concerns about the 2009 election, which she lost to Reed by a couple of hundred votes.  TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses She told Huddleston that she always suspected there was voter fraud.  'I know there are instances where individuals were asked to vote in the election,' Norwood said.  She said individuals who didn’t live in Atlanta still voted in the mayor's race.   [SPECIAL SECTION: The Atlanta Mayor’s Race] Norwood said she's never talked publicly about the accusation, but privately has mentioned it to several groups, including last June, at a meeting that was recorded and leaked to the AJC. 'I have spoken privately to many groups, including last night to the NAACP, about the fact that I did not go public with some things I was concerned about with that election,' Norwood said.  ATLANTA MAYOR QUICK FACTS The city’s last five mayors have been African-American The last 27 have been Democrats There have only ever been two Republican mayors of Atlanta Shirley Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta. The next mayor will be the second Only four former Atlanta mayors were born in Atlanta Click here for more facts about Atlanta mayors Huddleston contacted Reed for a comment on this story Wednesday. His spokesperson responded and said in part: “If Mary Norwood had proof that the election results were invalid in 2009, she should have stepped forward and challenged the results then. She did not because she could not. She has no evidence to back up her claims. She has been a public official for the past four years and never raised any concerns about the integrity of our voting system.' Norwood said after the 2009 race, she joined the Fulton County Elections Board to get a new director on staff.  She told Huddleston that she's confident the Dec. 5 mayor's race will be fair, accurate and impartial.
  • A local family's effort to help the less fortunate during Thanksgiving is growing so large, they needed two trailers to deliver it. Ron Mowen's family started handing out goods for the homeless five years ago after they realized there was a problem in downtown Atlanta. Since then, it's become a family affair to help others. Hundreds of homeless men and women, even some with children, congregated at Pryor and Memorial to get items for personal comfort this Thanksgiving.   TRENDING STORIES: Woman missing after traveling to daughter's home for Thanksgiving Thousands in need get free holiday feast thanks to volunteers Man fixing tire at gas station killed on Thanksgiving morning “The ground gets cold, so at night you kinda need something,” said Nate Akers, who’s been homeless for 10 years and lives under a highway bridge nearby. He came out to grab some clothes for both him and the other people who camp out beside him.  “I’m receiving a blessing,” he told Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez. He isn’t the only person who feels like they received a blessing this holiday. Cherry Hall, who’s a Lyft driver and has been homeless on and off since 2005, was also grateful.  'It makes you smile and feel better. I think they’re great, god loving people,” she said.  Mowen's family recruited their closest friends to help them help others with two trailers full of goods. “Anything we can do to make them feel comfortable. The folks out here just need a little help,” he said. “We do a lot of blankets, sleeping bags, coats, clothing, thermal underwear.”  They spent the day dedicated to sharing time with family, helping those who are less fortunate. In the process, their hope is that their young children learn a lesson in giving back. 'I want to install values in my children in hopes that they realize not everybody has it as well off as they do,' he said. The family told Jaquez they want to come back and host the same event for Christmas but need your help. If you'd like to donate to help them raise money for supplies, click here.  
  • A week ago, Melissa Horstman's Worcester, Massachusetts, home was invaded by burglars who smashed the glass on her sliding door and took nearly $3,000 in valuables and cash.  >> Read more trending news Shortly after 9 p.m. last Thursday night, the thieves broke into her home and not only stole the money Horstman was saving for her dog's operation but left her sick pup Prince in a heap of glass. Foreboding as he may look, Prince has bone cancer on his back leg and can barely move. Not only is Prince on heavy painkillers, but his leg will need to be amputated, and Horstman believes his condition is worsening. 'I'm just lucky they didn't kill my dog,' Horstman said.  Horstman says that after Boston 25 News interviewed her last Monday, one of her friends created an online fundraising page for Prince with the goal of raising $5,000 - the amount needed for his surgery. However, to her surprise, the overwhelming generosity of those who contributed to the fundraiser help not only reach the goal but exceed far past just $5,000 . 'It is very close to $20,000 right now,' Horstman said. Initially, when Horstman posted about the burglary on Facebook, her mind was set on trying to catch those responsible for the theft. She says she didn't ask for a dime, but is immensely thankful for those who helped. Prince will have surgery Tuesday and hopefully feel a lot better. As for the rest of the money, Horstman plans on giving it to other pet owners who need it just as much as she did. 'I've decided to make some donations to Broken Tail Rescue that are here local in Worcester and possibly another rescue depending on how much is left over from Prince's surgery,' Horstman said. After our initial story on the burglary aired, Horstman said police told her this may be related to other recent burglaries. She is anxiously awaiting word of an arrest. Horstman is urging people who want to help to give back to local animal shelters. She has since asked her friend to shut down the fundraising page. 
  • A fund set up to raise money for a homeless man who helped a woman when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia has collected more than $280,000. The GoFundMe campaign was started by Bordentown, New Jersey, resident Kate McClure this month after she was stuck along Interstate 95 and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. bought her some gas with his last $20.McClure says she didn't have money to pay him back but she returned to his spot several times in the following days to give him cash, clothes and food. She says she then started the fundraiser hoping to collect $10,000 to cover housing and other expenses for him.McClure says she wishes she 'could do more for this selfless man.'Donations had poured in from about 10,000 people by Thursday.
  • An 86-year-old Philadelphia woman allegedly pushed her walker into a bank Tuesday afternoon and attempted to rob it. >> Read more trending news Bank employees told police the woman, identified as Emily Coakley, brandished a gun and demanded $400, CBS Philly reported. It didn’t take long for the police to arrive, and they arrested the senior citizen. Authorities say the woman had a .38-caliber revolver. They said the gun was not loaded, but, she did have bullets in her purse, according to The Morning Call. University of Pennsylvania police responded to a robbery call at the TD Bank at 3735 Walnut St. around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Coakley has been charged with aggravated assault, robbery and other related offenses. According to witnesses, Coakley had visited the bank the day earlier and was under the impression she had been shorted $400 from her withdrawal that was the specific total she demanded from the teller. Her family later arrived and tried to defuse the situation. Despite this, people near the bank weren’t happy. “Someone could have got shot, even accidentally. You have to have concerns. People bring their kids here,” customer Will Duggan told Fox 29 in Philadelphia. The Morning Call said she did not offer comment as police escorted her from the bank.