It’s going to cost more to put cranberry sauce on the table this year.
Tom Hayes, President and CEO of Ocean Spray, recently spoke with Fox Business about the rising cost of cranberries. According to him, the price increase is due to a variety of factors.
"This is a period of the year where our growers are just trying to do everything they can to make sure that we keep costs low, but like every single food company, supply chain issues have caused prices to go up," Hayes said.
He explained that the exact amount of the increase will vary by retailer.
"There are costs that we have incurred this year which we haven’t in a long time," he explained. "This is the first time we’ve had to take pricing in over ten years."
He continued, "We are doing a lot to try to keep costs low but we have to balance the need for our grower owners, for 700 family farms, to put food on the table as well as make sure we’re keeping our value for our consumers."
While the labor shortage played a role in the situation, Hayes attributed other factors to the situation as well.
"We’ve done a really good job at Ocean Spray as it relates to our own labor in the plants," he said. "But there’s certainly, as you’ve heard, a lack of labor as it relates to transportation, so getting truck drivers, and that causes all lanes, regardless of where they’re going, to go out."
Also, the rising cost of raw materials has caused prices to jump.
Hayes explained, "Every single ingredient we purchase at Ocean Spray has been increased. Also, materials like cans, steel cans, they were not available for a large part of this year. And then the ones we’d get are more expensive. It feels like it’s just about everywhere. So from raw materials to labor and transportation, it’s all moving in the wrong direction."
He continued, "You know, it was just an overall demand issue at the upfront. What’s happening, you know, people are getting together with families, they want more and more time together and as we look at what’s happening with people coming back to the Thanksgiving table that maybe haven’t been there for two years, demand is surging."
Unfortunately, he doesn’t see the problem abating anytime soon.