Hawaii shoppers feel inflation’s pinch as they prepare their Thanksgiving spreads

Nearly everything has increased in price, meaning it's costing more to pull off Thanksgiving dinner.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:55 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Lee’s Bakery in Chinatown, customers waited in hours Wednesday for the perfect pie. The bake shop’s mantra: “Bake until we drop.”

Workers are so busy, they can’t answer the phone.

They move with machine-like precision, packing pies for eager customers.

And higher prices didn’t deter them.

At $24 per pie, Lee’s Bakery says its prices are about the same as last year. But customers remember pre-pandemic it was $15 for a slice of heaven.

Chalk it up to inflation, which is pushing up the cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal by 20% or more.

The key ingredients for pie, for example, have increased between 23 and 75%.

Salamasina Kawaauhau waited in line at Lee’s Bakery for 3 1/2 hours and was happy to walk away with a pie — no matter the higher price tag. “My kids love it so it’s worth it for the kids,” Kawaauhau said.

At Honey Glazed Hams of Hawaii, customers also saw higher prices this year.

The hame cost $9.71 per pound last year. This year, it’s $10.60 per pound — a 9% increase.

Over at Foodland, a steady line of shoppers wasn’t focusing too much on prices in their haste to get Thanksgiving ingredients.

One customer says despite inflation he’s spending about the same.

“It’s not that much more. The produce, the drinks and stuff seem to be about the same price. It just is what it is, I guess,” said customer Robert Karren.

“Honestly, I think we just want to have a good time,” he added.

Back at Lee’s Bakery, Kawaauhau spent more than $300 on pies and still had a Thanksgiving smile.

“Yeah, we are 14 pies.”