BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Supply chain struggles continue across the food industry — demand and prices are up, but supply is down.
Melissa Poland, the owner of Sweet Melissa’s, said they’re experiencing shortages across the board.
“Different products that we use on a daily basis, from our packaging to our vegetables to what we put on top of our salads and now to our proteins,” said Poland.
It’s their chicken supply that has most recently been affected.
“90% of my menu is chicken and there’s a shortage of chicken right now,” said Poland.
Poland said the restaurant typically goes through about 300 pounds of chicken a day. and not only is it hard to get now, but prices have gone up significantly due to inflation.
Poland said chicken prices are the highest they’ve been since she started her business five years ago. “I started out and chicken was like $1.25-$1.50 a pound and just this past summer we were paying $1.99 a pound. I’m paying $3.10 a pound for chicken.”
The effects are being felt across the entire industry, from butcher shops to grocery stores. Popular products that used to line shelves are now hard to come by.
“We’ve lost sales over the last year and a half, a tremendous amount of sales, and in fact there are still things that we cannot get,” said Tim Rogers, of Shenango Valley Meat and Poultry in Sharon.
Shawn Nakich, also with Shenango Valley Meat and Poultry, said it’s not an issue of there being enough chickens, pigs and beef cattle. The animals are there — the problem is getting them processed and transported.
“With this storm coming of course they’re not going to be able to get animals to the processors. The shipping is gonna be a mess for two or three days in this part of the country, so that’s gonna further slow things down,” said Nakich.
Those in the food industry said things don’t appear to be looking up any time soon.
“Everything that goes up must come back down, but I don’t see an end in sight,” said Poland.