Billionaire supermarket CEO warns of potential meat, egg shortage as omicron disrupts US supply chain
The price of beef rose nearly 21% in November year-over-year
The recent impact of omicron on the U.S. supply chain has caused grocery prices to increase and could soon impact the supply of meat and eggs, according to billionaire Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis.
"Omicron is taking its toll at different levels of the supply chain, whether it’s the warehouses, whether it’s the selectors, the drivers the loaders – and as they call in sick there are interruptions in the system," Catsimatidis told Todd Piro during an appearance on "Fox & Friends First."
Catsimatidis went on to say that many of these interruptions will continue over the next 6 weeks as the COVID-19 variant impacts the labor market. The United Refining Company owner added that the Northeast in particular is seeing the price of various products, including eggs, poultry, and beef, go up because of low supply and high demand.
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"Let’s say they normally sell 10 million pounds of chicken. They figured if they raise the price 10 or 20 cents some people will buy less chicken and the people that really want to buy the chicken – it will be there for them to buy," said Catsimatidis.
He added that the price hikes and supply chain shortages have been exacerbated by the rising cost of oil, which is necessary for transportation.
Meanwhile, Egg Innovations CEO John Bruunquell, who acquired the first U.S. patent for reduced fat and cholesterol eggs, echoed Catsimatidis’ sentiment on "Fox & Friends" with co-host Ainsley Earhardt, warning that an uptick in demand coinciding with labor, freight and vendor issues may soon hamper egg supply.
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Bruunquell noted that his business is still filling at 100 percent capacity, but has asked employees to work extra hours or days in order to keep up with the market.
"If that trend continues it’s going to put us in a challenging situation with meeting the demand."
In November, the price of beef rose nearly 21 percent year-over-year, while pork and chicken increased 16.8 and 9.2 percent, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.