The price of PB&J is going up
Say it ain't so: One of the cheapest sandwiches you can make at home soon won't cost so little.
Updated: Oct. 11, 2011, 11:50 a.m. ET
The cost of one of the cheapest sandwiches in the brown-bagger's repertoire is about to go up -- in a very big way.
J.M. Smucker, the owner of popular brand Jif, announced a 30% price hike for November -- just in time for National Peanut Butter Lovers Month -- and it isn't the only peanut butter maker raising prices. In addition, Smucker says it will increase the price of the "J" part of PB&J by 4%.
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"So as consumers we're buying peanut butter for a little more than $3 a jar. We're going to be paying over $4 a jar when that price increase hits," Shelly Nutt, the exquisitely named executive director of the Texas Peanut Producers, told the Fox TV station in Lubbock, Texas.
Considering that the average child will eat 1,500 PB&Js by the time she or he graduates from high school -- a "fun fact" from the National Peanut Board (more of them below) -- and that peanut butter is eaten in 90% of U.S. households, this price increase will be very noticeable.
A couple reasons:
- Too little rain, including record drought in Texas and excessive heat in Georgia, which produces almost half of the U.S. peanut crop. Janet Cho wrote at The Plain Dealer:
Some plants shriveled before they could produce peanuts, while other plants got too hot to mature into anything edible. And some of the plants that did mature developed a toxin that makes them more difficult to process.
- Competition from other crops. About 141,000 fewer U.S. acres were dedicated to peanuts this year.
What's a frugal sandwich-maker to do?
- Compare the price with other low-cost sandwich ingredients. Salami and bologna sandwiches were actually cheaper than PB&J, according to Len Penzo's 2010 analysis.
- Try the store brand. It will still be cheaper than the name brands. Len Penzo's peanut butter taste test ranked Albertsons No. 1, beating out Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan.
- Grin and bear it. This is a temporary increase unless next season's crop is a bust. And remember that you're still saving money when you pack your lunch for school or work.
To help with the grin part, here are two more fun facts from the national peanut folks:
Peanut butter was the secret behind "Mr. Ed," TV's talking horse.
Tom Miller pushed a peanut to the top of Pike's Peak (14,100 feet) using his nose in 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.
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My income isn't as high as I'd like it to be. I'll be informing my employer that my salary will increase by 30%.
You know folks, these are pretty simple things to make yourself at home for pennies. I've been picking my own strawberries and making jam for years and grape jelly can be made in less than an hour w/ nothing more than some grape juice, Sure Jel and sugar. Peanut butter is even easier - get some raw peanuts and throw them in the blender w/ a dash of honey and you'll have the best sandwich you ever had in your life. Keep the peanut butter in the fridge, though...it will spoil if you leave it out as the oils go rancid after a while...but it won't last that long, I bet! We can beat them at their own game if we're just smart enough to learn to do this stuff for ourselves. Pioneers did it, so can we. :-)
Take from the old - take peanut butter & jelly from the young - take away raises for workers. The USA treats their citizen like crapola. It time to revolt and kick washington where it hurts the most - in their wallet. Take away their perks. They can't come with money for fema, but they come up with money to rebuild Iraq and Afganiststan.
I have four kids to make sandwiches for every morning.. I use a lot of peanut butter, and I have noticed that the price of peanut butter is already over four dollars here.. and that is not for the big jar. I understand that crops are lacking, but seriously, people are trying to survive in a really bad economy right now, and everyone wants to jack up prices on EVERYTHING!! Give me a break. I refuse to pay five dollars for peanut butter. Especially when I use almost an entire jar in a week.
I get supply and demand, but 30%, really??? That is just plain insane.
Less product from the same cost causes prices to go up, not sure what business most of you are in but low yeild means higher prices in most products.
Where the $%#@&* is the peanut oil? Does anyone read the ingredients of this stuff? And by the way...anyone paying attention to the reduction in volume of 25% in most products as the prices go higher and higher. We all need to stop buying from these greed bags, we are not victims, we choose. These companies want more and more money and give us less, less, less and expect we will sit in silence and the FDA cares less what we are eating too. C'mon people!
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