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Grocery stores are busy keeping stock

Sporadic changes in the cost and availability of certain products at grocery stores seems to have been the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, local grocers said tissue paper has been easier to keep in stock lately and they’ve started to see the inflated cost of some grocery items such as ground beef drop back to normal range.

Barry Loy, president of Supermarket Operations, which owns and operates The Markets grocery stores throughout the Miss-Lou, said cleaning supplies, such as antibacterial soap, disinfectant sprays and wipes are still in high-demand and harder to keep on the shelves.

“There are still categories that are going to be harder to get probably for a while, like bleach, antibacterial soap and house cleaning supplies like Lysol,” Loy said. “Those are still in short supply. Everything else has been coming back. Meat prices are dropping now but went way up for three or four weeks.”

Loy said some meat factories were closed down temporarily due to COVID-19 and for a while had lower production levels with social distancing protocols in place.

“With social distancing practices their capacity for production went down by 20% or 30%, maybe more,” Loy said. “Cost is related to supply and demand so with commodity items the cost went up. But their production is starting to come back up which will make the cost go back down.”

Supermarket Operations owns and operates eight grocery stores throughout southwest Mississippi.