Beefed Up Prices

COURTDALE — The meat shelves are fully stocked at Gerrity’s in Courtdale, but something’s different about the meat. Prices have increased lately.

Sandy Pechal of Swoyersville has noticed.

“Hamburger’s been up a little bit, but I mean, you got to do what you got to do, to feed the family and stuff,” said Pechal.

It’s not just Gerrity’s with the beefed up prices. The average price of beef across the country is up to $5.28 a pound, a 25 percent increase from last year.

Experts say the droughts out west caused a decrease in cattle. Plus, beef is in high demand overseas.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm of bad news for the price of beef,” said Gerrity’s perishable foods director Mark Bradigan.

A package of ground beef is just over a pound, but already, it’s almost $5, and that’s causing some people to pass on it altogether.

“It’s gone way up. We’ve been buying ground turkey instead,” said Francine O’Brien,of Hanover Township.

Over the past few weeks, the price of ground beef at Gerrity’s has gone up from $3.59 a pound to $3.99 a pound.

“We try to hold the line as long as we could on prices. Our goal is always to offer the best value possible. You can only absorb so much,” said Bradigan.

That’s leaving shoppers like Pechal no choice but to look for a meaty bargain.

“Sometimes it goes on sale and sometimes it doesn’t. I try to get the sales deals,” said Pechal.

The perishable foods director at Gerrity’s told Newswatch 16 we may not see beef prices go back down until next year. Until then, he says keep looking for deals on beef or look to cheaper meats like chicken.

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