Wholesale food prices going up

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Food is costing more.  Some Hawaii businesses are feeling the effects of rising wholesale food prices on the mainland.  They've held off on "upping" what you pay but they may have to raise prices soon.

It seems the cost of virtually everything is going up and when it does, like with food, here in Hawaii, we really feel it.

"Everytime you look at the ad, what used to be is not anymore."

"I'm not surprised only because of everything happening like with the rising cost of gas.  Like 10 cents more, 20 cents more. Nothing's getting cheaper."

Experts say cold mainland weather means lower supplies of wheat, corn, meat and other key staples.  Add in higher fuel costs and it all means you're paying more to eat.

Clarence Nishihara, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee says, "We are concerned that the major factors that causes the food rises as well -- the fact that almost 90 percent of the stuff has to be shipped in."

According to the U.S. Labor Department, wholesale food prices jumped 3.9 percent in February alone.  Something we will eventually feel here in Hawaii.

At McCully Zippy's, they're also feeling the bite. Especially when it comes to certain items like rib-eye which they bring in from out of state.

Were being affected in all food groups.

Zippy's president Paul Yokota says, with 24 locations on Oahu and one on Maui, they've had to pay much more for some products.

Yokota shared, "Quite frankly, were doing our best to try to hold the line on increasing prices. But that maybe inevitable, but we're doing our best to see how long we can hold before we have raise prices."

One way to avoid higher mainland prices is to buy local.  And for local food producers, like Nalo Farms, higher mainland wholesale food prices, for now, is good for business.

Dean Okimoto, president of Nalo Farms admits, "good for local … it helps us because we become a little more competitive with the mainland imported foods.  I think we're making a lot more food at home. Were starting to grow some eggplant, tomatoes growing in the garden and we're starting to shop more at farmer's markets.

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