Just as grilling season kicks into high gear with summer on the way, beef prices are shooting up again. If you’re planning to buy steaks, prepare yourself to pay more.
Allison Homan, the owner of Lehr’s Prime Market in Milford, Ohio, is trying not to pass every supplier hike onto her customers.
“We are doing our best to keep our margins as low as we possibly can, but at some point, there are certain margins we have to make to stay in business,” Homan said.
A cyberattack that temporarily paused production at one of the world’s biggest beef producers, JB’s Meat Products, has impacted five U.S. plants.
Luckily, Lehr’s gets its beef from nearby farms, but those prices are up, too.
“They raised it $9 a pound, that’s tenderloin, that’s our cost,” Homan said.
Purchasing manager J.T. Homan has been forced to raise the price of tenderloin filets to $28 per pound, the highest ever.
”Ribeyes, those were raised $5 a pound, strips are $4,” he said.
What’s a consumer supposed to do? The easiest option is to buy a cheaper cut of beef, like sirloin, and marinate it well.
You can also buy a more unusual cut of beef where prices have not gone up so much.
“Our prime beef, and Wagyu options, haven’t been raised at all, and I think that’s because they are not commodity items, not everyone uses them the same way,” they said.
Allison wishes she could predict lower prices this fall, but no one really knows what the future holds.
Butcher shops are hoping their customers understand that they are not profiting from the price surge, and are feeling it just as much as the shoppers are.