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Recourse on the price hikes of chicken prior to a Yom Tov

c
cappucino Sep 13, 2013 04:29 AM

I, not having planned properly this year, just paid $3.24 a pound for chicken bottoms in my local kosher supermarket. My other chicken bottom options from the two other brands in the case ranged from that price and above. I get so angry when I see this. What is the consumer's legal recourse for this? I know I can use my physical walking option to go to another store (which will also have hiked prices) or plan better or drive out to some other community to buy it more cheaply (shout out to Cedar Market in Teaneck from what I hear), but I don't have the time. So what can we consumers do to stop this before the next Yom Tov?

  1. bagelman01 Sep 15, 2013 06:15 AM

    I know I've already replied once, BUT it's nothing new. Go to forward.com and the Looking back archoves and you'll see many articles about this going back more than 100 years.

    All you can do is plan, buy in advance and freeze, buy at general population stores, change your menu.

    Without government price controls as mentioned by me before (Under Nixon, WWII), etc. The only legal recouse is in cases of price gouging in times of emergency (Suoerstorm Sandy, Blizzards, etc.) or provable price fixing (Collusion).

    And it's the government who takes the legal action to enforce the laws, not consumers. If a storekeeper were convicted of such a violation, then consumers could sue for damages (overpayment).

    I know this may not comfort you, BUT poultry is extremely expensive, even in the goyishe world right now due to problems with bird diseases, etc. We have a treif mini-kitchen and grill off the garage for cooking food for our dogs (they don't require kosher, and the vet has prescribed some meats that can't be). Currently it is cheaper to feed them steak than chicken.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bagelman01
      c
      cappucino Sep 15, 2013 08:38 AM

      I had no idea, bagelman. You're a well of info. I do kind of feel better, kind of. But, at 7:30 this morning, the cases were empty and they were busy in the back preparing the new stuff for today. (I had decided over YK that I craved a turkey roast and made up my mind to cook it this morning) I am going back when they are ready (two stores told me that it was too early) and then I will see the mark up over last week. I'm curious. Thanks for the heads up on collusion, craigcep. I don't think that would be something that applies. I appreciate knowing this stuff though.

    2. z
      zsero Sep 14, 2013 07:24 PM

      Why would you expect to have legal recourse? It's their chicken, they have the right to charge whatever they like for it. The only reason they don't charge $100 a pound is that not enough people would pay it. If not enough people will pay $3.24 then they won't charge that much. So your only legal recourse is to refuse to pay, and do without chicken, and hope enough other people do the same that they're stuck with unsold stock and have to lower the price to clear it. If there <i>were</i> any legal action you could take to force owners of property to sell it for less than they want, that would amount to theft.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zsero
        c
        craigcep Sep 15, 2013 05:17 AM

        I agree with your basic premise and this is a matter of supply and demand without recourse, but I will just provide one exception. If it turns out that either suppliers or retailers are colluding on prices, that would violate antitrust laws and be actionable. I don't think that's happening here though.

      2. m
        MartyB Sep 13, 2013 07:53 AM

        This price Yo Yo that I see in supermarkets is baffling. Sometimes it is clearly a case of price gauging sometimes it appears as if at the beginning of the week the stores have a roulette wheel on some items and come up with weird random prices. This is one of the key reasons why I shop as much as possible and have a lot of respect for stores like Costco. They have fair and stable prices. No wonder why they are so busy.

        10 Replies
        1. re: MartyB
          s
          shoelace Sep 13, 2013 12:44 PM

          when i was shopping in the 5ts the price yoyoing at brachs and GG used to drive me crazy

          i dont find that thats the case in seasons in queens or shop delight/everfresh in great neck, which is where i do the bulk of my shopping now

          i was actually impressed that they were able to read my mind and put most of what was on my list on sale last week

          1. re: MartyB
            m
            MartyB Sep 15, 2013 10:07 AM

            Another head-scratcher from Brachs. Last week I bought a box of Manischewitz Egg & Onion matzo for a "special" price of $2.89 a box. Today I go for some shopping and what did the roulette wheel spin this week - Manischewitz Egg Matzo for 49 cents a box! Now I don't care for egg matzo but my wife loves it! I bought 4 boxes, I think I will go back for more!

            1. re: MartyB
              s
              shoelace Sep 15, 2013 10:13 AM

              was the egg and onion kfp?

              ive been seeing leftover kfp matzo ridiculously cheap, but matzo not marked kfp at really high prices

              1. re: shoelace
                m
                MartyB Sep 15, 2013 10:22 AM

                Yes, both were KFP, one $2.89 the other 49 cents.Like I said, completely random pricing at the local supermarkets Costco would not have a a 6x price spread.

                1. re: MartyB
                  s
                  shoelace Sep 15, 2013 10:23 AM

                  thats ridiculous

                  1. re: shoelace
                    c
                    cappucino Sep 15, 2013 11:24 AM

                    This is what i'm saying. What is up? Is it just poultry or is it everything? Is it just up or is it up and down? Is it just the kosher stores or does this happen in the mainstream supermarkets? I do think it is an issue worth raising.

                    1. re: cappucino
                      bagelman01 Sep 15, 2013 12:26 PM

                      Shop Rite has been clearing out pesachicke matzo for 10 cents a box for three months...............

                      That said, The Egg and Onion is chometz and reg price.

                      Some things are a bargain near yuntif in the reg markets. Year round Stop and Shop charges a ridiculous $3.69 for a box of Streit's Matzo Ball Mix, this past two weeks it's $1. You have to shop selectively and stock up on bargains as you find them

                      1. re: bagelman01
                        m
                        MartyB Sep 15, 2013 12:59 PM

                        So I guess Brach's Egg & Onion KFP matzo was not such a good deal. Anyway, I just returned for another run and bought another 4 boxes of Egg matzo @49 cents (I guess a ripoff compared to 10 cents :). I also picked up more Yehudah Gefilta fish @$2.99/jar.

                        I am leaving tomorrow to Florida for succos. Most of my suitcase is food since my Florida home is well stocked (clothing wise) and I am entitled to two suitcases with Jetblue so I am bringing items that I cant find in Florida, like gallon storage bags w/ties 75 per box (yes, I cant find them anywhere!), chullent mix w/barley and some of these sale items that I have been stocking up. Seems silly, but hey, I am entitled to the suitcases!

                        1. re: MartyB
                          bagelman01 Sep 15, 2013 01:27 PM

                          Marty,
                          You're not silly. We've had a home ion Boynton for the last 22 years. My Florida clothing stays there. I always pack the bags full of food and kitchen needs.
                          For years it has been cheaper to buy here.

                          And as to the cheap matzo. I have plenty from the free I goit at stop and shop this pesach. BUT I bought 10 pounds regular at Shop Rite for a buck and put it through the food processor to make matzo meal. My daughter invited her teen youth group for supper in the sukkah next Sunday night and I'm making ziti and meatballs, using matzo meal instead of bread crumbs.

                      2. re: cappucino
                        a
                        avitrek Sep 15, 2013 01:58 PM

                        I suspect part of the issue is the kosher stores don't buy in large volumes, so they take whatever price the distributor offers and then applies their markup. Costco buys so much that they can dictate a stable price and get it from their distributors, so prices are more stable for the consumers.

            2. bagelman01 Sep 13, 2013 05:37 AM

              As we haven't had price controls in America since Nixon was president there is not much you could do via the legal system. We are a free market society.
              You live in the northeast and you should have walked right out of the kosher market who is gouging kosher consumers into a general retailer such as Trader Joes or Stop and Shop or Shop Rite and bought packaged fresh kosher chicken dark meat sections for about $1 less per pound.
              Your local market as you decribed is not a butcher who is making special cuts for you from whole birds, but merely a purveyor of packaged kosher pultry-self vercie. But they are actually self serving.
              Show your disgust by buyibg elsewhere.

              7 Replies
              1. re: bagelman01
                c
                cappucino Sep 13, 2013 11:00 AM

                Like I said, I don't have the time. there is no Trader Joes near me. Stop and Shop doesn't carry Kosher meat anymore, and I believe the Shoprite is not offering any deals worth the aggravation of parking there and driving there. I still feel that even if I shop elsewhere, I would like the kosher butchers to be penalized for jacking up the prices. Whatever. I guess at this time of year, I'm supposed to forgive them. To answer you, queenscook, the highest I have paid lately for chicken bottoms was 2.89.

                1. re: cappucino
                  b
                  barryg Sep 14, 2013 12:52 PM

                  and if they didnt raise the prices, youd be looking for "recourse" that they sold out of chicken for yom tov. supply and demand.

                  1. re: barryg
                    c
                    cappucino Sep 15, 2013 04:37 AM

                    Barryg, that doesn't make sense. But, it's nice thinking on the day after Yom Kippur. Shoelace, it's the yoyoing that really creeps me out. The change in price that occurs by the DAY. Up, down, up down based on whether it's Erev Yom Tov or not. It stinks. I mourn the lack of ethical behavior that is creeping into all the crevices. My mother never had to contend with this balogney. I asked her. And she had plenty of chicken. Did she have fancy cuts of specialty meats? No. But who really needs that anyway?

                    1. re: barryg
                      e
                      ettilou Sep 17, 2013 02:44 AM

                      As of yesterday, Costco in Lawrence was completely sold out of fresh kosher chicken and turkey and the man restocking the beef said they" hoped" to get more in by Wednesday

                      1. re: ettilou
                        c
                        cheesecake17 Sep 17, 2013 09:54 AM

                        Costco in Brooklyn didn't have any fresh kosher meat, chicken, or turkey. (They may not have had it for a while, as I don't recall seeing it, but it's been a long time since I've been to that location)

                        I remember seeing Jacks sausages, but that could have been seasonal, because there was none in the showcase.

                        Very lame cheese selection too. Shredded mozzarella, sliced American cheese, feta, goat cheese. Before the summer they had Brie, Parmesan, grated Parmesan. I also remember seeing pollyO mozzarella balls with an OUD.

                        1. re: ettilou
                          s
                          susiejane Sep 17, 2013 10:53 AM

                          Plenty of kosher poultry today in Costco in Lawrence. Never saw fresh kosher turkeys there.

                    2. re: bagelman01
                      queenscook Sep 13, 2013 01:27 PM

                      I love TJ's, but I find the price of the kosher chicken there higher than the stores here on Main St. in Queens.

                    3. queenscook Sep 13, 2013 05:22 AM

                      What do you usually pay; that sounds pretty cheap to me for kosher meat.

                      1. d
                        DeisCane Sep 13, 2013 04:43 AM

                        The best bet is to have a milchig/parve meal instead. And get everyone you know to do the same. I know, sounds hard, if not ridiculous, but that might actually help.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: DeisCane
                          c
                          cappucino Sep 13, 2013 05:13 AM

                          Sorry. I think I posted about my background here before. I recently took a book out of the library called the Jewish Shtetl in Poland before the war. That is basically my culinary kosher approach with some American foodie stuff thrown in. I will never give up my roasted chicken and potato kugel on Yom Tov. Plus, I highly doubt I can get enough people to make a difference. I want legal recourse or something like that.

                          1. re: DeisCane
                            n
                            noya Sep 19, 2013 10:55 AM

                            For readers other than the OP, this is an amazing option. Cost is so much lower, and the quality of the meal doesn't suffer in the least. Lighter, healthier food is not only tremendously enjoyable upon consumption, but after as well. Chag sameach!

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