ARAB, Ala. – Meat prices are at an all-time high which weighs heavily on shoppers trying to feed themselves and their families.
It is also tough on local butchers, like Bobby Morrow at Arab Meat Market, who are trying to make a little money.
“I’ve been doing this for 44 years and I’ve never seen prices like they are right now. Never,” said Morrow.
He tells News 19 the spike in prices is changing the way customers are shopping.
“People are beginning to slow down a little bit buying the very highest priced steak cuts. They’re shopping now instead of just coming in and telling me to cut something and rightfully so because I have had to go up to just to break even even, much less make a dollar off of it,” he explained.
Morrow says he is doing the same as he does not want to buy the more expensive cuts of meat, only to have customers not buy it.
He tells News 19 he wants to stay competitive with other grocery stores, but it’s difficult.
“It’s hard to make any profit off anything when it gets that high. I’ve been in a few grocery stores and checked prices over the last three or four weeks and I try not to get that high but I have had to on some stuff,” Morrow said.
“I shop all over Arab trying to find the best meat prices and Bobby has pretty much the best meat in town, but he’s tried to help as far as the meat prices not going up as much, but he has to do what he has to do to make a living,” explained Arab Meat Market customer Dawn Whitaker.
Morrow says it is not only steaks that have gone up, but also the ground beef, chicken and pork.
He blames supply and demand, but says panic buying may have also played a part.
“When they opened all the restaurants up across the country, it put a big strain trying to get enough stuff to get everybody open. The meat processors had slowed down for the last year because they didn’t have the restaurants to deal with. Everybody just ran out trying to find stuff and it jacked the price up so high,” Morrow explained.
“It was pretty bad there for a little while when you went into the grocery store and it was like you were getting meat that didn’t look so well because it was so picked over from people panic buying,” said Whitaker
While the price of meat in the store has gone up, Whitaker says the farmers are not getting paid any more.
She knows because her husband owns cattle.
Morrow tells News 19 he hopes the cost will get back to normal, so he can continue bringing families the highest quality meat at the best prices.