Supply chain issues

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 9, 2019
Washington, DC
Meat, generally, was one of the early shortages but the situation hasn't gotten a whole lot better. Instead, a bunch of other items are also getting harder to find and/or more expensive. I liked using a restaurant supplier (either one that catered to home cooks, directly, or "borrowing" a restaurant's access) but this article from a local paper shows how rough things have gotten even for restaurants. First, it was issues directly related to the pandemic, now it is the wage shortage across a heap of industries. Sadly, there are no easy answers and it does not look to be getting significantly better anytime soon.

...what would a barbecue restaurant be without smoked meat?

“I’d love to take brisket and ribs off the menu, but I can’t,” says Smokecraft Modern Barbecue pitmaster and owner Andrew Darneille. A year ago he was paying $3.83 per pound of USDA prime grade brisket. That price has nearly doubled to $7.38 per pound. St. Louis-style ribs are worse. A year ago he was paying $2.60 per pound. Today they’re $6.75.

“There’s a price point where these numbers begin to break and people stop buying them,” Darneille says. “We see it every time we make an adjustment to the menu." He’s selling a full rack for $45 when he really needs to be charging closer to $60 to be sustainable. “Each rack of ribs is 3.25 pounds so you’re talking about $22 per rack before I rub it, love it, and smoke it.”

Even though most pandemic-related restrictions that strangled revenue are lifted, Smokecraft is still losing money every month. “We’re doing everything we can to stay in business, and it’s incredibly deflating and discouraging when you get emails and complaints online about how it’s overpriced,” Darneille says. “We don’t want to charge this much.”

Have price increases or product shortages changed how you eat/cook?
Well it wasn't affecting me much but it is now. I generally get a bunch of meat and process it. Pork was just on sale so I'm good there but only 1 lb of beef and 1 deer burger left. What I'm not understanding is where did all this meat go when I went to my parents this summer they said 11000 cattle were sold just in their county in one month, which is a huge number. A lot of ranchers reduced their herds because of the drought, who got the beef.
Other than not having Chicken Wings anymore, it hasn't changed our lifestyle any.
It's annoying, though. I was singing the blues when I paid $15 for 3# of ground chuck a month or so ago and I just paid $18+ today.
Thankfully it's just the two of us and we don't have a family to feed.
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We haven't changed how we shop or eat. We don't eat out much so we like buying quality food to cook. Prices and shortages, not just for food are going to sky rocket though
$16.00/pd for Tbone or Porters in my neighborhood. $2.00/pd for pork butt. I'm thinking about going vegan until this settles down.

This article explains a facet of it . The export being up 21% as olaf olaf said explains the fact that the farmers are fed up.
The low beef prices in the title is what the farmers fetch, a stupid low amount, hence they're trying to get away from "the big four" processors.

With consumers buying less meat due to outrageous prices and ranchers preferring to export I have to think at some point the processors are going to get it in the shorts. We have cut our meat portions by about a third to stretch the meat we can buy and are eating more vegetarian meals and finding they're pretty good. I think we're an example of meat consumers that will probably not go back to our old ways even when the prices come back to sanity, that's not going to be good for ranchers or processors.
Was at the grocery store yesterday. Myself and another guy were looking at some very nice Cloverdale Bacon 3# pack. No price so the guy asked the meat man and he went in back and looked. Came back out, said $23.91 :emoji_scream: We just looked at each other and shook our heads and walked on.
I just keep looking for deals, costco has 80/20 chopped meat for $2.99/lb. Aldi has chicken breasts for $1.79 so I load up. We definitely don't eat out as much not in high end places. We did eat at a Mexican restaurant and the bill was over a $100 for two....although we did have 5 - $14 margaritas with dinner.
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We just make the best out of our shopping experiences, and if there is a way to benefit from a sale.... we jump on it. At the same time I do splurge twice a year on a high end order from someone like Creekstone.... their prime flank steaks, tri-tip and Duroc ribs are on my list.
I read through most of that but towards the end it made me feel like I was back at work for the day. Shortages are hitting everything. Shortages of people who want to work doesn’t help. My purchase habits for food has not changed. I do buy bulk when I find a deal and always have. I suppose if I deplete 2 1/2 freezers and things don’t improve I might have too. I will say the restaurant buying ribs for around $6.50 , selling for $45 and saying they really need to get $60 needs to figure out their issues. If they can’t make money charging almost 7x they have bigger issues.
Well, I grew up on casseroles, stews and soups, guess that's how I'll get by for now. When I find a good deal I buy what I can and divide it into half pound portions (4 oz/ serving each for the two of us), stretch it with veggies and/or pasta and serve it with bread. Come to think of it, that's probably why there weren't so many overweight people in the 40's and 50's.
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We only buy meat when on sale now, it is absolutely ridiculous around here at this point.

prices seen Sunday: chuck roast $9.99/lb, pork loin $5.99/ lb, 80/20 $6.99/lb, chicken wings $17.79-22.13 for family pack (20-24 wings) Passed on all of that, did buy 2- packers $3.99/lb, boneless skinless breast $2.99/lb
It's seems a lot of things are being called supply chain shortages. Some people who raise beef have cut back on the number they raise for many different reasons like drought and hay shortages because of it, feed prices, etc.
We went to an Ag Expo last week and I got to talking with a couple guys that raise beef and while talking we got on the subject of sky rocketing prices of equipment, fuel, etc and the costs of food including beef. They both said that in the last couple years they are getting 8-10% more then they were and that the feed lots are getting about the same. They claim the big jump in price of beef is because of the slaughter house/butcher, packing houses that seem to control things. They determine how many animals they are going to buy thus affecting the supply and demand aspect of things and therefore prices.
Awhile back a neighbor that travels a lot for work told me he was working in a city that had a large vehicle assembly plant and there were new vehicles packed all around it he asked a couple people about it and they told him they were all awaiting electrical components that of course were coming from overseas.
So far we haven't really been affected by the prices in the grocery stores we have always bought meat in bulk when it's on sale then putting it into smaller packs and vacuum sealing it and into the freezer and we have multiple freezers. We are finding some things we want to buy at the grocery store out of stock but that's been about it for us.
They claim the big jump in price of beef is because of the slaughter house/butcher, packing houses that seem to control things.
That's it. I'm getting less per pound for my calves at the stock yards than I was a couple years ago even though my operating costs have increased. Diesel for tractors up, feed costs up,equipment prices, you name it. But all I can get is what the buyers are willing to pay. It's an auction system, so we farmers don't get to up our prices to match our operating costs. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.