Nationwide supply shortages causing high grocery, food prices

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Nationwide supply-chain issues are causing prices to go up on kitchen staples, and Lowcountry restaurants are feeling the impact.

According to Charleston Southern University economics professor Arnold Hite, the math is simple: increased demand + decreased supply = higher prices.

As more people get back to normal routines, prices on popular items are expected to continue rising, according to Hite:

“They’ll go up slowly at first, but my guess is they’ll begin to rise a little faster.”

Arnold Hite, Professor of Economics CSU

The shortages are impacting consumers and businesses alike. Restaurants like The Mustard Seed in Mount Pleasant are sometimes unable to get key ingredients. When the ingredients are available, some come with a steep price tag.

“We can’t get crab because it’s so expensive and it’s hard to get our hands on and nobody wants to think about that.”

Andrea Parco, The Mustard Seed employee

Crabs, scallops, and ground beef are commonplace on Lowcountry menus, but The Mustard Seed is having to make changes amid the shortage.

“The biggest problem we‘re noticing is that certain food items are skyrocketing in price and we’ve had to limit them [or] eliminate them from our menu,” said Parco. Chefs are having to get creative to keep customers happy.

Hite says that shortages are hitting more than just the food supply. “Anyone who has gone out to eat in the last three or four months knows that there’s a terrible shortage of workers in the service areas,” said Hite, “and those prices will rise.”

Unfortunately, Hite expects the inflated prices to stick around for a while before the market is able to catch up.

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