Pepperoni prices are spiking thanks to coronavirus

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Pepperoni prices are reportedly skyrocketing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has forced meat processors to “streamline” operations and hampered their ability to produce pepperoni, leading to higher prices for small pizzerias around the country, according to Bloomberg News.

Charlie’s Pizza House in Yankton, South Dakota, for instance, is now paying $4.12 a pound for the beloved topping, up from just $2.87 a pound in January 2019, the outlet reported. And Emily, a gourmet pizza shop in New York City, has reportedly seen pepperoni prices jump 50 percent to $6 a pound from $4 earlier this year.

“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” Emily chef and co-owner Matthew Hyland told Bloomberg. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”

Pepperoni
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Demand for pizza has reportedly surged as the pandemic shut consumers in their homes. But big chains such as Papa John’s — which reported record sales in the spring — and Domino’s haven’t struggled with higher pepperoni prices because they usually pay set rates for ingredients under long-term contracts, Bloomberg reported.

Coronavirus outbreaks temporarily shuttered some US meat plants this spring, leading to shortages and price spikes for beef and other meat products. The crisis has had a pronounced effect on pepperoni given that it takes more work to produce and comes with lower profit margins, according to Bloomberg.

Pork processors “are basically just shipping out large pieces of meat for further processing,” Barry Friends of the food service consulting firm Pentallect told Bloomberg. “They’re not doing as much because they don’t have the people to do the work.”

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