Ham prices up for Easter holiday season

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Ham, a staple for many for Easter Sunday dinner, prices are up the past two years, compared to the previous five years.

The wholesale price is estimated to have jumped from 55 cents per pound, to 75 cents per pound in the last two years.

Dennis Marchi, the store manager at Schnuck's in Cape Girardeau says there are a couple things that drive that price up. He says the high demand for pork around the world, the increasing price of corn and animal feed, and the rising costs of fuel all contribute to the higher ham price.

"Yes, the cost of hams are up this year," said Marchi.

But Marchi says people are still picking them up for Easter dinner this coming Sunday.

"Hams for Easter are very traditional," said Marchi.

"Ham is delicious, and our family likes it and we look forward to having it for Easter, it's kind of a tradition at our house," said Sherry Brookover. "Way back ever since I was a little girl we had ham for Easter dinner...you have turkey for Thanksgiving, something kind of different for Christmas, but it was always ham at Easter."

"Most of the time, the customer is buying the ham for cheaper than what we are buying them as a retailer," said Marchi.

He says stores will absorb the increased cost, to keep customers coming in.

"You bring those people in the store and they're going to shop for other things we are making some money on," said Marchi.

Those "other things" can be side dishes for the Easter dinner. Side dishes are something Brookover says they don't skimp on despite the higher ham cost.

"Not for the holiday dinner," said Brookover.

Marchi says people figure out ways to make the meal work.

"When people come together for Easter Sunday for dinner a lot of people just bring desserts, bring the vegetables, bring the salad, and the hosts have the ham, to cook for everybody, so that helps spread out the cost of hams," said Marchi.

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