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Parmesan cheese prices are about to skyrocket. Here’s why

After a 10-month delay, pandemic-related costs are finally catching up to the hard cheese

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A view of Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese wheels in Noceto, Parma, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.

A view of Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese wheels in Noceto, Parma, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.

Associated Press

From rumors of toilet paper shortages, to the shuttering of movie theaters across the country, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has manifest itself in myriad ways.

Though COVID-19 vaccines are being widely distributed and a not-too-distant “return to normal” is looming, some industries like, say, the parmesan cheese business, still have a tough road ahead.

People reports that, while cheese prices in general saw a 160% spike over the summer of 2020, the price of parmesan cheese is expected to skyrocket in April. According to the site, this delayed spike comes as the result of parmesan cheese’s 10-month aging period before appearing in grocery stores.

According to Yahoo! Life, it became more expensive to produce parmesan cheese in the spring of 2020, and those increased costs will finally be made manifest to the consumer as the cheese that was set aside to age last March, April and May begin to stock grocery store shelves.

According to Mashed, parmesan connoisseurs should expect to pay 33% more than they’re used to for the hard cheese as its price is projected to leap from $1.50 per pound to $2.00.

“I would guess (the price change) may slow down consumers’ purchase patterns,” Neil Cox, Schuman Cheese chief customer officer, told Eat This, Not That! “But people will, in all likelihood, pay the increase because, ultimately, it’s still delivering an experience and flavor.”

“It becomes an issue of, ‘If you want this, you’re going to have to pay more for it,’” he said.