Pandemics like the coronavirus can have crippling effects on our food supply. The bottleneck starts from the processing plants.
Move over, national coinand Clorox wipes shortages.
There’s a new coronavirus pandemic shortage of the nation’s most popular pizza topping.
Small pizza shops across the nation are reporting higher prices for pepperoni, according to Bloomberg, which found a South Dakota shop is paying $4.12 a pound compared to $2.87 in January 2019.
Emily, a New York City pizza shop, is paying $6 a pound, up from $4 earlier this year, chef and co-owner Matthew Hyland told Bloomberg.
“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” Hyland told Bloomberg. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”
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The small pizza restaurants said they weren’t passing the higher costs along to customers at this time.
According to Bloomberg, larg pizza chains including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Papa John’s haven’t experienced shortages or price increases as they buy ingredients with long-term contracts.
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When Shaq has a say, the slices get bigger. WAY bigger. Introducing the Shaq-a-Roni for just $12. 🍕🍕🍕 pic.twitter.com/ljEzRbJhPk
— Papa John’s Pizza (@PapaJohns) August 16, 2020
In June, Papa John’s even introduced a new Shaq-a-Roni pizza, the pizza giant’s largest slices to date. Shaquille O’Neal, a Papa John’s board member and franchise owner, came up with for the 16-inch extra-large pizza that sells for $12 and has 66 pepperoni per pie.
But consumers have seen higher prices increase this year at the grocery store on many staples amid the pandemic, which shut down many restaurants.
Perishable items have been more popular with consumers buying more meat, seafood, fruits, dairy and vegetables as more people stay home to eat.
COVID-19 and panic buying caused various shortages, including hand sanitizer, toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, meat and yeast.
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Contributing: Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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