The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the global economy and thrown a complete wrench into different supply chains. We’ve seen it affect the beer industry and its toppled some big chains. And now the virus comes for an even more sacred product, one we hold dear: PIZZA.
According to a new report in Bloomberg, America’s favorite pizza topping is in trouble as we’re facing a pepperoni shortage. This is the part where some will debate the topping hierarchy and make the weird case for bacon (ok, but forgettable) sausage (get real), or pineapple (lol what?). But that’s not important right now.
In short, pepperoni is in shorter supply, so the price is going up. This is trouble for smaller pizza places (you know, the ones that make actually great pizza) who are now paying much higher prices for a pound of pepperoni, or (gasp) switching to a lower quality version. An analyst attributed this to the labor-intensive process and low-profit margins for pepperoni, as food producers across the nation begin to streamline their operations amid shortages in labor and product.
I thought 2020 couldn’t possibly get any worse and now what’s this I hear about a pepperoni shortage?!
— David Schwartz (@JoelKatz) August 17, 2020
The chains should be OK, for now at least. Their prices are locked in the massive contracts they have and their suppliers will continue to deliver, so you will still be able to get an obscenely large pizza from Dominos for next to nothing, or Shaq-sized slices from Papa Johns.
When Shaq has a say, the slices get bigger. WAY bigger. Introducing the Shaq-a-Roni for just $12. 🍕🍕🍕 pic.twitter.com/ljEzRbJhPk
— Papa John’s Pizza (@PapaJohns) August 16, 2020
Still, while pandemic price surges on other meat products (like beef) have come down, pepperoni is still perilously high. Smaller pizzerias pledge loyalty to the topping though and don’t plan to eliminate it from menus.
“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” said one New York pizzeria owner. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”
And while everyone is stuck at home, demand for pizza has gone up. It’s the best comfort food at a time we need it most. God bless all of them who are overcoming these new hardships to ensure our za continues to have pep.