(BLOOMBERG) – Record-high meat prices are having a chilling effect on summer-grilling demand in the U.S. With costs for ground beef and chicken breasts at all-time highs, consumers have few alternatives to switch to different proteins – so some may skip them entirely.
The U.S. Memorial Day holiday on Monday is considered the unofficial opening of the outdoor grilling season, and the surging costs are pointing to a disappointing start. Price pain in meat comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stalled crop exports in the Black Sea, pushing up the costs of animal feed. Even prices for propane used to power grills have soared.
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"The inflationary environment is starting to take its toll," said Michael Nepveux, senior analyst for animal protein at Stable USA, which offers risk-management tools for some commodities. "Instead of steak or chicken, we might have pasta or a pizza."