Meats prices are up this Fourth of July

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — This year’s Independence Day barbecue will cost you a little more, a local meat distributor said the cost of proteins is up across the board, with some prices even doubling.

It is not just the grill that will be hot this year, meat costs are also sizzling.

They are among the highest prices Richard’s Meat Market General Manager Tania Li has seen.

“It’s just a calamity,” Li said. “It’s disastrous the price of raw materials has shot up to all time highs, in at least for as long as I’ve been here.”

Li is also a purchaser for the company. She said it is the first seeing the cost of staple items increase this dramatically.

Li said, “The boneless chicken thigh has more than doubled in price in the last six weeks, and same with pork butt. They’re just taking turns inching up.”

Li said a pound of chicken that once sold for about $1.39 is now more than $2.59. While the price for sirloin steak has jumped by $2.

The price hike is being driven by more demand than supply. The impacts began to be felt once more states began to loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

Gyu-Kaku Hawaii Partner Rick Nakashima said he’s been told from distributors, a shortage of workers is also affecting the price of meats.

“What I’ve been told is happening, you have fuel increases,” Nakashima said. “You have labor shortages on truckers, labor shortages with the actual farmers and meat packing.”

Nakashima said rib eye steak is costing him about 20% more, and he can no longer put off price increases on his menu.

Nakashima said, “In this situation it looks like we have to inch them up slightly, it’s a matter of survival.” 

Li said it weighs on her having to raise prices on customers, but on the bright side, suppliers from the mainland have said prices are bound to go down.

“We’re just waiting for the prices to go down, it should be easing hopefully in the next few weeks,” Li said. “Even our suppliers are telling us just buy as you need it.”

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