APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – As meat processing slows across the nation, supermarkets like Kroger and Costco have capped their meat purchases.
In a written statement to Local Five Festival Foods says:
“Festival Foods, like many grocers across the nation, has experienced a disruption in the meat supply chain due to plant closures. In order to provide product to as many of our shopping guests as possible, limits have been applied to the products that are affected. As the supply chain recovers, these limits will be discontinued as quickly as possible,” says Mike Zimmerman, Festival Foods Senior Director of Meat and Seafood.
Smaller local shops say customers are buying more meat.
Richard Niemuth owns Niemuth’s Southside Market in Appleton and says, “We sold a lot of brats on the pork side. We sold out of pork chops. We sold out of pork steaks and went through a lot of steaks last weekend.”
But Richard says getting good quality affordable meat is becoming harder.
“We’re pressing margins quite a bit too to make sure everybody can get what they want at the most affordable price they can get it.”
Meat processors here in Wisconsin, have had to slow production to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has affected pork sales.
Keri Retallick, with the Wisconsin Pork Association, says, “What we have seen is there’s probably an average of 65 percent sale down for pork in our food service area our restaurants because of the closures.”
Retallick says pork sales have suffered because they’re kinks in the food supply. “There’s plenty of pigs out there. We just can’t get them harvested and into the meat packaging and get it all the way to the retailer right now.”
For the time being, some shoppers may have to get used to seeing low meat supplies and higher prices.
The Wisconsin Pork Association has created a program called — Passion for Pork–to help food pantries and food banks keep up with their demand for meat.