LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– With the holidays already here, meat prices continue to skyrocket, and butcher shops feel the impact.
According to the Department of Labor, produce is 4% more expensive than last year.
Cereal and bakery products are also high, but the most significant increase is for meat and eggs going up 12%, and for many, the meat is the centerpiece dish for the holidays.
“I haven’t seen an end to it, and I’m on the phone constantly with my providers, and they don’t see a decrease anytime soon,” said Ron Lutz, the owner of The Butcher Block.
The price of rib-eye steaks at Butcher Block on Rainbow Blvd near Warm Springs Road was $19.99 a pound in 2020; now, the price is at least $27.99 a pound.
“The industry as a whole is a really short staff, especially for specialty cuts they can’t no longer produce it,” Lutz said.
Lutz is doing what he can to charge his customers a fair price while paying more to his meat suppliers in Nebraska.
However, to his surprise, the rocketing prices aren’t turning people away when shopping for their holiday feast.
“Everyone wants to eat well for Christmas. That’s their number one meal of the year,” Lutz added.
Lutz said he has close to 100 orders of prime rib for next week.
“It is just something you have to budget and accept it and keep buying,” said customer Aaron Manfredi.
Customers like Manfredi are willing to pay more for the quality.
“I come in here like twice a month and treat it like a delicacy,” Manfredi said.
Soaring gas prices and a labor shortage are feeding into the increase in meat prices.
Another reason for the issue is the devastating weather in the Midwest that is destroying ranches and farms.
“We have no processing plant here in Nevada, so everything we bring in has to come from someplace else,” said Doug Busselman, the executive vice president of the Nevada Farm Bureau.
Since we may not see an end in sight anytime soon, Busselman said they are trying to build a local meat processing plant.