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Dealing with the inevitable pork shortage

 
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Poppa's PTL Club
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25 12 7:24 pm    Post subject: Dealing with the inevitable pork shortage Reply with quote

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-pork-bacon-shortage-20120924,0,5901787.story

The best businesspersons handle risk ahead of time and have plans in place to deal with difficult situations. Due to the drought and the loss of the corn crop, there is going to be a very serious rise in pork prices within a few months.

How are you planning for it?
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25 12 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prayer Brother!!
That along with continuing close ties with all the small farmers around me constantly asking if I want to buy their piglets and hogs, and I have a great butcher house nearby licensed to slaughter - that being said, it looks like I will be doing a lot more small whole hog instead of shoulders, and sure to be paying and charging more.
I am turning a lot of locals to brisket over the past couple years, so I expect that price to continue to increase too Shocked
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26 12 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This last year has shown some awfully lean pork, that's for sure!
It used to be that if a had butts in the cooker that were done, and I was too busy to grab them, that they would still be perfect for another hour or more. But if I delay pulling them out now, I get pork that is so dry it is inedible.

We saw a rib shortage last year, pork quality sucks right now, beef has risen in cost dramatically and its quality level is faltering.

I wish there is something I could do to plan ahead, but I do not see pre-buying and freezing as a viable alternative to getting fresh deliveries 2 times weekly due to the volume we work with.
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26 12 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't have any problem with ribs last year and if prices and supplies do fluctuate substantially we will adjust our pricing. I would think all meat would be affected. Over the past 15 years or so I have seen shortages of produce and we would adjust our pricing to reflect our cost. Some folks will choose other items and some will pay the difference. We use only fresh meat and will adjust our purchases accordingly. I would also consider adding some non pork items to give some options. We don't have local slaughter houses in this part of Minnesota any more. They have gone the way of the small family farm.
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MooniesBBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30 12 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll probably just turn Moonie's into a soup kitchen Very Happy
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was asked to be interviewed for our local TV station about the alleged pork/bacon shortage, I thought about it, and figured any publicity is free advertising, and free is good.

It went well, I was asked what I thought and if it is a reality or not, I answered that I have no way of knowing until something actually happens, and I was asked what a life without bacon might be like, my reply was "Not a life I would enjoy living too much, because there are not many foods that either bacon or chocolate cannot improve"
They took a bunch of video of the interior of our BBQ-pit loaded with butts and brisket, our "Rules of Bacon" sign, and our other sign that simply states "either you like bacon, or you're wrong"

Lets hope I was not made to look like a goober. At least I had a clean fresh chef's coat on, and some newer, almost clean, "Chef Wear" pants that day.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Smithfields facebook page:
"What bacon shortage? This weekend, we stopped by the Fox & Friends plaza with bacon-filled breakfast sandwiches for all! Rest assured, Smithfield has got you and all of your bacon needs covered."
But, because it was said on that station, only half the country will ever known this truth..... Confused
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure about shortage from what I've read so far on the industry reports I get, but pork futures are already on the rise and I don't think there's any doubt we are all going to see high food prices in general over the next months. I also read one report where a meat producers group in NC just purchased the largest ever foreign grain consignment from somewhere in south america. Between draught, ethanol, and perhaps Chinas inability to produce grain at a high enough rate to support its demand for meat I don't see any end to the reasons why prices are not going to continue to go up and up.[/list]
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sprayboss
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hogs
Lean Hog futures settled with $1 or more gains in all but the October and red October contracts. The USDA Hogs and Pigs report showed a few more hogs than last year, but fewer than analysts had expected. The breeding herd and farrowing intentions also show some contraction, although they appear light compared to the reported number of sows. The CME Lean Hog Index rose another $1.12 to $75.08. Cash hogs were sharply higher in the WCB again, up $3.19. The IA/MN report was up $3.54 for the weighted average. ECB hogs were weak as usual for a Monday, up 6 cents. The carlot pork carcass cutout value rose 41 cents to $80.90. Monday slaughter was on the high side at 437,000 head vs. 430,000 for the same day last year.
Oct 12 Hogs closed at $77.650, up $0.475,
Dec 12 Hogs closed at $75.200, up $1.450
Feb 13 Hogs closed at $82.050, up $1.800
CME Lean Hog Index
September 27 75.08

Afternoon Primal Cutout Values
Carcass $80.90
Loins 88.92
Butts 83.40
Picnics 51.42
Ribs 119.09
Hams 71.33
Bellies 113.18

Never mind the bacon - ribs are the thing in shortage. We need hogs with more than 2 racks of ribs.
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of bacon, any of you making bacon? I do. I make a dry cured, hot smoked and dry aged country style bacon that is incredible. Lean and much like country ham. The longer it;s around the more like prosciutto it looks. I slice it thick and grill it to order for our slab bacon sandwich. I have a couple of customers buying 5 pounds or more at a time. We also make pastrami and pulled ham. We have our version of a Cuban with pulled ham and pork, Swiss cheese and mustard BBQ, very popular. We have a 1/2 dozen specialty sandwiches that aren't even listed on our regular menu but are usually available. First batch of burnt end chili sold out the fastest to date, three days for 5 gallons. I just list our infrequent specials on Facebook and Twitter. There are folks watching for them.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bacon is/was a huge hit with us, right up until my glass deli-cooler gave up the ghost, and we lost well over 70 pounds of product consisting of 4 different varieties of bacon, beef jerky, and assorted beef-sticks.

After $700.00 in repairs, by 3 different people, and it still is not holding proper temps for safe display.
But now that summer is over, I may be able to get a yet another person who refers to themselves as a commercial refrigeration specialist to cash more of my checks and still leave me without a working display cooler.

Sorry if I sound a little tweaked, but that is a chunk of coin to not be any better off than before.

BTW, my last purchase of pork belly was at $2.09/LB for fresh, I am afraid to even see what it is at now!!

Ribs?? the quality has sucked bad for almost a year now, I am seeing the best product out of "Rantoul Foods" in Rantoul IL, "Seaboard" brand is generally okay, but I have given up hope on seeing anything decent from "Premium Iowa Pork" in the last year.
Not a whole heck of alot of meat on the ribs compared to 2 years ago, I am seeing more sternum bone being left on, and longer rib bones just to try and make their target weight.

Maybe I should just be making sloppy-joes and tater tots until this improves?
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Poppa's PTL Club
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem (like most problems) is solved before it becomes a problem. If you are not priced initially to be able to absorb some level of cost increases without raising prices, you will constantly be changing your pricing. Raising prices is always difficult.

There is a new spot near my house that is selling pulled pork at $8/lb; they are already at rock bottom pricing and will attract those types of customers, customers who will abandon them when they inevitably have to raise prices, probably pretty dramatically. (BTW, their 4oz sandwich is $4.50, try to figure that one out)
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02 12 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
Bacon is/was a huge hit with us, right up until my glass deli-cooler gave up the ghost, and we lost well over 70 pounds of product consisting of 4 different varieties of bacon, beef jerky, and assorted beef-sticks.

After $700.00 in repairs, by 3 different people, and it still is not holding proper temps for safe display.
But now that summer is over, I may be able to get a yet another person who refers to themselves as a commercial refrigeration specialist to cash more of my checks and still leave me without a working display cooler.

Sorry if I sound a little tweaked, but that is a chunk of coin to not be any better off than before.

BTW, my last purchase of pork belly was at $2.09/LB for fresh, I am afraid to even see what it is at now!!

Ribs?? the quality has sucked bad for almost a year now, I am seeing the best product out of "Rantoul Foods" in Rantoul IL, "Seaboard" brand is generally okay, but I have given up hope on seeing anything decent from "Premium Iowa Pork" in the last year.
Not a whole heck of alot of meat on the ribs compared to 2 years ago, I am seeing more sternum bone being left on, and longer rib bones just to try and make their target weight.

Maybe I should just be making sloppy-joes and tater tots until this improves?


sloppy-joes and tater tots Now THATS Wisconsin BBQ..., gettin back to your roots Harry!!???.. Confused Shocked Thats the perception I fought the first year I was open!! Question Question

I checked into pork belly about 2 months ago, I could buy quality cured bacon for less than I could but it raw, so I didnt bother! I could be wrong, but believe it was near $4.00 by the case - I dont think I pay over $2.00 / lb for quite nice layed out GFS brand bacon! No, not home made, not the quality Harry and others are putting out, but dang nice for moinks and wrapping dogs!
Since I just vend and cater, my season is almost done, so I will be shocked come spring, I'm sure!...Gonna order a couple cases and freeze it, maybe....
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03 12 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
BTW, my last purchase of pork belly was at $2.09/LB for fresh, I am afraid to even see what it is at now!!

Ribs?? the quality has sucked bad for almost a year now, I am seeing the best product out of "Rantoul Foods" in Rantoul IL, "Seaboard" brand is generally okay, but I have given up hope on seeing anything decent from "Premium Iowa Pork" in the last year.
Not a whole heck of alot of meat on the ribs compared to 2 years ago, I am seeing more sternum bone being left on, and longer rib bones just to try and make their target weight.

Maybe I should just be making sloppy-joes and tater tots until this improves?


I paid 2.98 for lean fresh bellies 2 weeks ago. I sell my bacon for 9.00 a pound or 7.95 for a 1/3# sandwich with chips and a soda.

As for those ribs. I buy IBP exclusively. and 38 lb and up cases only. During the summer, when weights are lower, I may have to pick through a whole pallet just to get 12 cases. The purveyor has to get rid of the rest. I can't get any main line purveyors or even meat purveyors to work with that so I pick through them myself at Restaurant Depot. They have other labels come through but they don't trim as nice as IBP. IBP slings some crap here and there but are still consistently meatier than the rest. I get full spares and trim myself, using scraps for rib tip sandwiches. Plus IBP has nice boxes we use for totes for our bigger orders.

Screw paying a repair guy, you have the winter to find another one that works. Just put the bacon on the special board and pull it from the back for now. I have the Boston Market deli counters for sale. I just put them in and took them right out. Bad flow for my space. The plan looked good. They are both working perfect. I am going to turn my hood and add 4 or more feet to it. Staging that for the first week in January. We will have to close a week for that remodel.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03 12 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qfanatic01 wrote:

Screw paying a repair guy, you have the winter to find another one that works. Just put the bacon on the special board and pull it from the back for now. I have the Boston Market deli counters for sale. I just put them in and took them right out. Bad flow for my space. The plan looked good. They are both working perfect. I am going to turn my hood and add 4 or more feet to it. Staging that for the first week in January. We will have to close a week for that remodel.


I've actually thought about pre-packaging in 1-pound units, and selling frozen. My bacon has a very limited shelf-life due to no mold inhibitors being used in the process.

Are your deli counters heated or cooled? I had a cooler with glass front, top, and sides with sliding mirrored doors on the rear, it is old, R-12 Old!!
Having the product in view triggered many impulse purchases and got our per-check average higher up.
I was selling our bacon at $7.50/LB, and that was about a 28% cost ratio when belly is around $2/LB raw fresh.

As for full spares and selling tips, that is huge here in the summer, but our locals do not do tips, for that matter I doubt they even know WTF they are.
I still hear "Whats the difference between the pulled-pork, and the Beef Brisket?" I am ready to get a see & say and bolt it to the damn wall so the ones who ask can pull the string and here "A cow says Mooo, a pig says Oink...
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03 12 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Harry Nutczak"]
qfanatic01 wrote:


Are your deli counters heated or cooled? I had a cooler with glass front, top, and sides with sliding mirrored doors on the rear, it is old, R-12 Old!!
Having the product in view triggered many impulse purchases and got our per-check average higher up.
I was selling our bacon at $7.50/LB, and that was about a 28% cost ratio when belly is around $2/LB raw fresh.

As for full spares and selling tips, that is huge here in the summer, but our locals do not do tips, for that matter I doubt they even know WTF they are.
I still hear "Whats the difference between the pulled-pork, and the Beef Brisket?" I am ready to get a see & say and bolt it to the damn wall so the ones who ask can pull the string and here "A cow says Mooo, a pig says Oink...


The counters are mostly hot. I thought I would set up a line and put together meals as folks walked through. I had a couple of problems. First, I had to have two complete lines, one for call in orders (about 30%) and one for take out and eat in customers (which we finish our ribs on the grill and needed a runner from the back kitchen, no hood in front) All was good on the weekend, but I had to contract for the week days to manage food waste and labor. Just didn't work. Plus my sides went down hill too fast being held hot. We have no waste with the single back line. We were giving the employees unsellable food or throwing it away. There's no profit in that.

We pick all the cartilage out of the tips, folks up here want nothing to do with it, so it's just diced up rib meat trim. We trim the cooked spare ribs to 1 lb or so (consistency). We reheat to order with sauce because the edges are a bit dryer. We also cook our spares in the chip smoker which keeps the edges moister than the stick burner. The first week I got our first stick burner I realized we would kill of a top selling sandwich if we cooked our spares in it. So I cook the backs in the stick burner and have two styles of ribs with the two different cuts. Tips are still a big seller here.
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MooniesBBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23 12 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:

Ribs?? the quality has sucked bad for almost a year now, I am seeing the best product out of "Rantoul Foods" in Rantoul IL, "Seaboard" brand is generally okay, but I have given up hope on seeing anything decent from "Premium Iowa Pork" in the last year.
Not a whole heck of alot of meat on the ribs compared to 2 years ago, I am seeing more sternum bone being left on, and longer rib bones just to try and make their target weight.

Maybe I should just be making sloppy-joes and tater tots until this improves?


We switched from seaboard to 1855 three weeks ago. They are individually wrapped, way more meaty and 20 cents cheaper per pound. It's the PFG premium brand st Louis cut ribs. Very happy with the switch.

Moonie
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26 12 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our ribs (full size spares) went up 60 cents a pound 2 weeks ago! I knew it was gonna be up but was shocked.

Then the next week they were back down to usual prices.

I'm just hoping they stabilize again by the time we re-open in the Spring
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