SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — With Easter and Passover around the corner, many food businesses across metro Detroit are looking forward to the busy season. But this year, many restaurants and bakeries are in a bit of a pickle. They are either facing a price surge on certain ingredients or a shortage of supply.
So, will this mean that during next week’s holiday people will have to pay more or settle for less?
Culinary Combo Bakery in Southfield is a successful business run by a mother and daughter duo, Jodi Polk and Jessica Barris. But this holiday season is turning out to be a challenge; their orders for Easter and Passover are being held up.
“Last month, it was cream cheese. This week and last week, I have been rejected getting cases of butter and then, that doesn’t even count the rising prices of eggs,” Polk said.
Most dairy products are hit by supply chain issues and folks at Holiday Market say it's getting better, but eggs have a whole different story.
“A case of eggs was between 17 and 19 dollars for a case. Today, I paid $42.50,” Polk said.
According to the Midwest Consumer Price Index, prices of poultry and eggs, among others, have gone up by 1.2% since February.
Nielsen IQ Retail Measure data also shows at present, one dozen of eggs costs an average of $2.25, which is 15% higher compared to the same period last year when it was $1.96.
Polk goes through over 180 eggs per day and that means her cost is going up.
In her 30 years of being in this business, Polk said she has not seen anything like this before.
Emily Mertz from the American Egg Board says prices for eggs along with meat, dairy and corn are all set on the commodities market, which is based on supply and demand.
“There are a lot of increased costs going into the market right now — feed costs are up, packaging costs are up and transportation costs are up,” Mertz said.
To top it off, some farmers are also impacted by the bird flu.
“We are seeing some pocketed shortages in the areas are affected by avian influenza, but the farms that have been affected are about 4% of the total flock size of eggs laying hens in the U.S.,” Mertz said.
According to michigangrown.org, Michigan is the seventh-top, egg-producing state in the country.
7 Action News reached out to some of the poultry farms and either verbally or over email, they confirmed that so far, their facilities have not been contaminated with the avian flu.
Dr. Leanord Johnson from Ascension St. John Hospital says as long as meat and poultry items are properly cooked, there is no risk.
“Most of the risk to humans — because it is a very rare disease in humans — is mostly among people who raise chicken and livestock, where there is an infected chicken. The infection will come from their droppings,” Johnson said.
But the bad news for business owners like Polk: Raising the prices of their bakery items is not an option.
“We already put out a Passover menu a month ago. So, I can't increase, and I won't compromise on quality. I just have to swallow it this year and hope that people support us throughout this,” Polk said, adding that her business will be taking a hit.
Polk fears that the prices will increase further, so she is buying ingredients in bulk and recommends similar businesses do the same if they can.