NewsMaking Ends Meet


Paying more for meat in Arizona? Here's the reason why

Posted at 8:59 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 00:00:19-04

Extra charges due to the coronavirus - We've told you about so-called surcharges popping up, but now you may be seeing those costs passed to you in new ways.

Grocery stores across the Valley have posted signs in their meat departments. They outline limits on everything from pork to chicken and beef.

What's to blame?

Julie Murphree with the Arizona Farm Bureau says it's the same reaction people had to stockpile toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

"The average American bought well over 20 to 30% more than they typically do, and We all did it," Said Julie. "So, that alone disrupted the supply chain."

Julie says Arizona has not been impacted by plant closures like other states; however, the disruption across the board has caused higher than normal prices - for you at the grocery store and possibly when you go out to eat.

"We're talking about $3.50 a pound a month ago to almost $10 - $12 in places," said Juan Ojeda, owner of Taco Head, LLC.

He says he's taken a hit when buying carne asada for his food truck business; saying he's been forced to pass those increases to customers and get creative in other areas to save money.

He's even opted to buy meat directly from local farmers instead of a distributor.

"We really have to like really monitor every ounce of carne asada because it costs money - it's like gold," said Juan.

Juan says there's only so much he can add to the cost of a taco and these prices are just another hit after being closed due to the coronavirus.

Now - we've seen other restaurants increasing prices for similar meat items. In some cases, it is a percentage on top of the normal cost or just a flat rate of an additional dollar per item.

In the meantime, Julie says she expects prices to balance out towards the end of the summer. She says there are ways to save money, so be sure to compare prices or possibly choose a different type of meat.

If you see new coronavirus costs or surcharges added to anything - we want to know!

Email us at