Barossa consumers hit an Iceberg

Jacinte Grocke from Hive Café, Angaston.

With rising costs of fuel and interest rates, South Australian consumers have now been warned that their next trip to the grocery store could be more expensive.

Due to supply chain disruptions and damaging weather conditions in New South Wales and Queensland, supermarkets and businesses are struggling to keep shelves stocked with fresh produce like the iceberg lettuce.

For what used to cost under $3, the iceberg lettuce now costs up to $12 in some Australian supermarkets. 

Hive Café, Angaston owner, Ms Marlo Grocke who orders local fresh produce daily, said she expects that the prices will remain in place for quite some time.

“I can understand why it’s happening,” she added.

“It’s just really hard times for producers so of course they have to pass on their costs.

“A lot of our suppliers have been passing on a 5 per cent increase and many others like us will be in the same boat.

“We just have to adjust to the prices because it is what it is. We are in it for the long haul, but I choose not to let it upset me or the business.

“We can’t control mother nature.” 

According to a recent Canstar Blue survey, it is not just the price of lettuce that has increased.

Seventy-one per cent of Australian shoppers noticed an increase in the overall cost of groceries including meat, fruit, dairy products and bread.

In the response to the lettuce supply chain issue, fast food restaurants like KFC and Subway have notified their customers that for the time being, they will be switching lettuce with cabbage. 

Marlo said she has been pleased with the way her business is adapting to produce costs and availability.

“Our chef is doing an amazing job. She orders fresh produce daily and will look to opt for another option if something isn’t readily available or if the prices are crazy,” she added.

“We alter our menus to keep up with seasonal produce. Our customers are also aware of the situation.

“On the flip side, I see for businesses that increasing costs of produce can affect people’s ability to splurge and eat out.

“People will be more wary about what they spend their money on.”

Other than lettuce, fresh eggs have also been on the list of items which have been difficult to source. 

“Touch wood, we have been ok with eggs,” Marlo said.

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