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Shawano grocer responds to price gouging accusations

Northwoods Regional News

SHAWANO, Wis. (WFRV) There have been many stores accused of price gouging during these times.

Locally, one Shawano grocer is under heavy Facebook fire because customers complained that the price of its chicken–has flown the coop.

Charlie’s County Market General Manager, Kelly Sufka says, “The Facebook posts that are out there are just so unbelievable mean. We got nailed on Facebook so terribly that I called the state and asked them to come in.”

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection visited Charlie’s County Market because a Facebook user posted that a six-pound pack of chicken breast was priced at $42.47.
Charlies says that price is correct but the label didn’t reflect that it was top-rate chicken.

Sufka says, “we couldn’t get our normal Amish Gerber packaging. That was the Gerber Amish chicken; it was just packaged differently.”

The post also said the price is usually $15 dollars but Charlie’s says their prices didn’t change, just the size.

Charlie’s received six-pound packs of chicken breasts instead of their normal two to three-pound packs because that’s all their suppliers provided.

Sufka says, “our regular retail price on that chicken is $6.89 and that pack of chicken was 6 pounds, actually 6.1 pounds. So that’s how that price got to that number that looked so big everybody.”

Sufka adds that their chicken is normally packed in two to three-pound increments, which would be about $20 dollars.

During the initial stages of this pandemic, supply was scarce, and Charlie’s only received six-pound packs.

Local Five checked on a national competitor’s website and the Amish brand of chicken priced more than $2 dollars higher than their regular brand of chicken.

So the question is what makes this Amish brand so much pricier?

Sufka says, “like with beef, you’ve got prime, you’ve got choice where chicken there is no tag you put on anything so you really have to look at the package. The Gerber Amish chicken is all-natural and hand cut, with less water, added.”

Charlie’s says they hope their 40 years in business shows they’re fair and honest.

Local Five reached out to the originator of the Facebook post but they did not respond to our request for an interview.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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