While toilet paper, cleaning products and paper towels flew off the shelves last month, the staples are becoming easier to obtain around St. Charles Parish. Local grocery store owners are now shifting their attention to their next likely concern – supply chain issues.
Barry Majoria of Majoria’s Grocery Store said food supply chain complications include many meat processing factories shutting down because of the pandemic and an oversupply of some items because of closed restaurants.
While some of his store’s meat deliveries have been delayed, Majoria said other shelf staples, such as toilet paper and paper towels, are gradually becoming easier to obtain from suppliers.
“I think we’ll have some shortages and then naturally some price increases with meat,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do about that … it’ll take it a while to get back to how it was.”
Majoria said a lack of meat products available for stores to buy means there will be no special prices for retailers to pass on to their customers.
“We pass on the savings when we can,” he said, adding there will likely be price increases on meat products, especially pork, going forward.
David Matherne, owner of River Road Market in Destrehan, said the demand at his store for some staples is still higher than usual.
Milk, for instance, is still selling out fast, he said, as are cleaning supplies. The store’s ability to obtain all their normal brands of offerings is still limited, but Matherne said he is trying his hardest to offer everything residents need and expect.
“We’ve already experienced some cost increases on beef just from the huge demand,” Matherne said. “There’s only so much production.”
Customers should expect some price increases on pork, Matherne noted, adding it is his goal to keep prices are low as possible.
“It’s all out of our control,” he said of price increases on popular items. “It’s all supply and demand … we’re trying our hardest.”
The pandemic has meant not only an increase in demand for groceries, but an increase in the amount of work local grocers have had to put in to make sure all customers and employees remain safe.
“We stayed open as best we could, as well as looking out for the safety and health of our customers,” Majoria said. “We just try to show up every day and do the best we can and hope that people appreciate it.”
Frank’s Supermarket owner Tara Guidry echoed Majoria’s sentiments, adding said business at her Des Allemands store has remained steady.
“We were here the whole time and we did everything we possibly could,” she said of her store during the pandemic.