Produce Prices Could Rise

By David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A freeze in Mexico and bad weather elsewhere has already impacted in our area and could impact what you pay for produce, including tomatoes and peppers.

There’s a sign up on the door of one of the Wendy’s restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh letting customers know that you now have to ask to get a tomato.

Jason Johnson didn’t know he was missing a tomato until he checked his sandwich.

“I didn’t know they have no tomatoes on the food,” he said. “I’m going to say something to them about this!”

At Piccolo Forno restaurant in Lawrenceville, owner Domenic Branduzzi says they’ve already seen price increases from suppliers.

“Tomatoes have pretty much doubled,” said Branduzzi. “The vegetables we use a lot of – eggplant, zucchini, red peppers – they’ve actually tripled in price for me – case prices. We go through two to three each a week.”

He says he’s taking the hit for the extra cost and not passing it on to patrons. “Hasn’t come to raising prices yet. I try to avoid that if possible,” said Branduzzi.

Giant Eagle put out a statement: “With respect to pricing, the situation is shared by all food retailers, but Giant Eagle is working with suppliers to deliver the best overall value to its customers,” wrote spokesperson Dick Roberts.

The shortage is because of a freeze in Mexico and to make matters worse, weather has also been bad in Florida and Texas.

At the Right by Nature grocery store in the Strip District, there’s a sign under the tomatoes alerting customers that the freeze could affect the availability, price and size of everything from bananas to peppers to cucumbers. So far, the store has not raised prices.


One Comment

  1. autismmom says:

    wendys is always the first one to take the tomato off like they’re not making enough on that cheap food they sell.

  2. Laurel says:

    Can’t wait till the garden can be started. Infact I think I will look into inside gardening in the winter. Time to start learning canning!

    1. Richard says:

      Laurel, canning is great as long as you don’t think it will save you money. It won’t, but the food is fresher and preservative free. That and the satisfaction of being somewhat in control are the two main benefits of growing/canning your own vegetables. I used to put in a 1500 sq ft garden and canned hundreds of pints and quarts as well as freezing so I do know something about this.

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