Chicken shortage causes North Central Florida businesses to raise prices

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 8:12 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Chicken is in high demand and many North Central Florida businesses are feeling the effects of the shortage.

Wards Supermarket Poultry Manager Bryan Ward said while he hasn’t seen a shortage, this is the first time in the store’s 70 years of business they’ve had to raise prices so high increasing by one dollar per pound in the recent months.

“The price is definitely increased and continues to increase. My price on chicken wings went up 30 cents just this week,” said Ward. “I’ve never seen prices this high. I feel horrible quoting prices but theres nothing I can do it’s out of our control.”

He said his supplier tells him there are a number of issues causing the shortage dating back to the start of the pandemic.

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“There is a shortage as far as how many birds are being hatched, the price of feed is skyrocketing because of corn, shortage of employees working because of the number of people on unemployment because of stimulus checks due to covid, the trucking industry is short.”

On the other side of Gainesville, Bluebird Wing & Chicken Company Owner Ronnie Patel is also having to raise prices, but he said getting his normal chicken shipment is also a challenge.

“Each and every day it seems like there is either a price increase or not enough product and it keeps getting worse and worse,” said Patel.

Both Patel and Ward said they’re thankful for their loyal customers during this difficult time.

“We’ve been able to sustain ourselves simply due to the Gainesville community,” said Patel.

“We’re doing our best to keep our prices down, we’re shopping as hard as we can,” said Ward. “We’re trying to be as loyal to them as they are to us but at this point, it is out of our control.”

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