“We have not seen a fall off of demand at our place. Our sales are still good. But our prices are at record levels,” he said.
The meat market, at 7310 N Western, specializes in premium beef. Since the store doesn't sell other grocery items, they can't accept a lower profit on beef like a big grocery store can, Kamp said.
But on Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to grilling season, beef tenderloins were hot, despite being one of the pricier cuts of beef. “We just make sure that at a premium price, our customers are getting a premium product,” Kamp said.
It may seem like fruits and vegetables are taking a larger bite out of consumers' budgets, too, but prices are actually average this year, Volpe said. However, in 2012, unusually warm weather in California and Mexico led to an abundance of many summer favorites, resulting in cheap produce.
Vegetable prices fell 5 percent in 2012, which is very unusual and reflective of the abnormal weather, he said. “There are no bumper crops this year. Prices are normal, they just look high compared to what they were,” he said.
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Retailers are doing their best to pass these cost increases on as minimally and slowly as possibly.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture economist