MILWAUKEE - After one of the worst peanut harvests in decades, the price of peanut butter is going up faster than one can say "peanut butter and jelly," but there's one store that won't be raising prices - at least on one brand/size of peanut butter.
Many of the larger, chain grocery stores have gone through inventory so fast, the new, higher-priced peanut butter is already out on store shelves.
At other stores, it will be a few weeks before the peanut butter prices go up.
"I don't think there's anything we can do about it," Sendik's shopper Donna Schlieman said.
Shoppers at Sendik's on Downer in Milwaukee can't control the cost of peanut butter, but they can stock up on it, before the new, higher-priced inventory lands on shelves.
"People with little kids won't stop buying it because they always have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch," Schlieman said.
Sendik's store owner John Sendik expects prices to increase about 30 percent.
"Especially on a staple grocery store product, you rarely see a price increase. Ten cents here or there, but nothing as significant as you're speaking of," Sendik said.
At Pick 'N Save, shoppers are already shell-shocked by the higher price tags. What's causing it, is a peanut shortage.
"Drought in peanut-growing regions has affected supply. Additionally, the price of cotton enticed some farmers who normally plant peanuts to plant cotton, so they could get more money," Roundy's Spokeswoman Vivian King said.
Prices on peanut butter are up 60 cents, to $1.50, or more, depending on the size.
Local food pantries are now hoping donations won't dry up!
"Every family that comes to Freiden's Food Pantry gets peanut butter, and if supply runs out, we just won't be able to give it out because we can't afford to buy it," Michael Brever from the Coggs Center Food Pantry said.
At Pick 'N Save, the price for one brand won't budge. 16-ounce jars of Skippy are covered by a price cap promotion launched in September.
"It was a 1.98 before this shortage, and it is still going to be $1.98 through the end of the year," King said.
Depending on the brand, price increases will vary. Planters brand is going up 40 percent. Jif will increase about 30 percent, and Peter Pan, more than 20 percent.
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