Beef Prices Hit a High Point - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Beef Prices Hit a High Point

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"So these bone-in filets are very expensive...."

LB Steak in San Jose, California is trading some of its premium cuts for less expensive ones. That's because wholesale beef prices are now at record highs. The drought and increasing demand have cut the number of U.S. cattle to its lowest level since the 1950s.

"It's affected us greatly. Prime is a small percentage of the amount of beef that's allotted in the country, so it's made it really difficult for us to find prime throughout the country," says Thomas Ricci.

The executive chef says some cuts of beef have gone up as much as 20% since last year. The swanky steakhouse had to pass some of the cost onto customers. For example, the porterhouse used to sell for $52. It's now $10 more.

Restaurants like his are also introducing more offbeat items that cost less like beef cheeks.

"We figured if we varied our menu a little bit more, get people an option to maybe have a steak dish, share it between themselves, you know, maybe have some other fish dish that's at another price point."

You'll also find more seafood and lamb dishes on menus.

"I know the prices are going up a little bits...." says customer John Wible.

Shoppers are also noticing changes at the grocery store. One in San Jose gets its beef from ranchers in the Midwest. The owner has already received notification of a possible jump in prices. "If it does increase, we just have to pass it on, we have to stay in business, with that price," says store owner Fred Zanotto.

Most experts expect prices to stay high through the summer grilling season - and for the rest of the year.


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