Brisket prices increase due to COVID-19-related disruptions of meat processing plants

Meat prices increase due to COVID-19

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Brisket, one of the many items included in a traditional Texas barbeque, is seeing an increase in price due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Koehler, a market supervisor with the Country Meat Market said, there has been a disruption in meat processing plants across the United States, which caused a surge in prices.

Brisket, one of the many items included in a traditional Texas barbeque, is seeing an increase in price due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brisket, one of the many items included in a traditional Texas barbeque, is seeing an increase in price due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.)

“Our cost has gone up four dollars a pound just on briskets. We’ve raised our prices about three dollars a pound. The ownership’s thought here is not to harm people - be as fair as possible,” he said.

Koehler said he’s never seen anything like this before, adding there’s been a shock to the system.

“It’s been a rather steady market; there were normal seasonal upticks in prices and then it dropped back down. We haven’t raised our prices before this in almost two years,” Koehler said.

Kerri Camp, a marketing professor at UT Tyler, said the interruption from suppliers is temporary.

“We’re not going to run out of protein products. The supply chain is already catching up, and you can still find all of those items within the store. Maybe the particular cut of meat that you were looking for might not be available,” she said.

Despite the increase in prices, Koehler said he believes changes are coming

“From everything that I’m hearing, we talk to people nationwide in the industry almost every day, that many of the plants are coming back online. They’re back up into 65 to 80 percent capacity. It doesn’t mean there won’t be another disruption,” he said.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics in April, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs saw a 4.3 percent increase due to COVID-19.

As products arrive in meat market stores, it’s unclear how long these high prices of brisket will last.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.