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Consumers face rising prices at the meat case

An ag economist says tighter supplies of meat and poultry could force retail prices even higher this summer.

Brian Earnest with CoBank says wholesale prices have been on the rise again. “We’re still seeing those inputs rise here in 2022,” he says.  “From that standpoint retailers will have to transition some of that burden onto the consumer.”

He tells Brownfield demand has remained strong despite rising prices.  Earnest says the question remains if that’s sustainable in the current economic environment.  “At least for the nearby, the consumer will continue to absorb some higher prices, at least to a certain degree,” he says.  “They’ll likely start trading down the aisle and we’ll see retailers gear up for that.”

It’s grilling season and he says if red meat and poultry prices continue at this level, retailers could start featuring less expensive items like ground beef and hot dogs instead of more luxury items like steaks.

AUDIO: Brian Earnest, Lead Protein Economist, CoBank

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