PELHAM, N.Y. The cost of peanut butter is expected to skyrocket thanks to an incredibly hot summer that devastated the season's peanut harvest, which may lead to more expensive peanut butter on the shelves of local grocery stores.
John DeCicco Sr., owner of DeCicco Food Market on Fifth Avenue, said that the increase in peanut butter prices will ultimately affect the customers who pick the product off the shelf.
Raw peanuts that cost $450 per ton in 2010 soared to $1,150 per ton, according to USDA figures reported in the Los Angeles Times . The Department of Agriculture released a survey last week that stated American farmers should produce approximately 1.8 million tons of peanuts this year, which is down 13 percent from 2010, according to the Associated Press . "We have to probably raise the price," DeCicco said. "We try to hold on as much as we can, but after we use up all our inventories and get the new one we have to raise the price." DeCicco added that the transparency of the price increase keeps customers from becoming too upset about it. "An educated consumer is the best consumer because they know why the price goes up or down," DeCicco said. "You're just trying to be fair." Such a low number would produce the smallest harvest since 2006. J.M. Smucker Co. plans to increase the wholesale price of its Jif peanut butter by 30 percent in November, according to the Associated Press. Kraft Foods Co. said it will raise the price of its Planters peanut butter product by 40 percent on Oct. 31.
Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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