Nation-wide meat shortage affecting local restaurants throughout Acadiana

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 19:24:27-04

LAFAYETTE — If you've been out to eat at your favorite wing stop or barbeque restaurant lately, then you have probably noticed the price increase of your meals.

That price due to the nation-wide meat shortage that has officially made it's way into Acadiana and affecting businesses across the area.

"Prices started going up about two and a half months ago," says Matt Blanchard, the owner of Blanchard Barbeque on West Pinhook Road in Lafayette. "We were able to absorb those extra costs until about a week ago and had to go up with our prices."

Blanchard says that prices for a brisket have gone up from $20 per pound, to $25 per pound, and he believes there are many factors causing the increase.

"I think part of it is the pandemic, where there was a shortage of workers," he says. "But one of the biggest producers, JBS, went into a minimum kill time which they do periodically, but right after that they happened to get hacked by Russia, so I think its a trifecta."

Beef isn't the only meat that's hard to come by today. Chicken production is suffering as well.

The Chief Marketing Officer of KOK Chicken and Things, Tre'jan Vinson, says that their prices went up from seven dollars for a five piece basket, to about ten dollars, and he's worried about the prices continuing to increase with the upcoming holiday.

"I am extremely in fear of the Fourth of July holiday, because the prices have not come down yet," says Tre'jan. "After the Superbowl, chicken prices come down, but then there is the Fourth of July and they go up again, and then right after that we head back into football season, so it's on going."

And while local businesses are being affected by the shortage and are forced to raise their prices just to keep their doors open, local meat farms in the area are doing pretty well.

In fact, one local farmer is encouraging local restaurant owners to look towards local farms to get their products if possible.

"Really to establish a local relationship is good, if you can get that set up then it's always going to be more stable than the bigger markets," says Max Bacque, the owner of Bacque Farms in Youngsville. "It's a harder thing for them to figure out, but it's not impossible."

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