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Beef in high demand in Hawaii as prices soar

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If you're thinking about pinching pennies this holiday season, you might only have a table full of side dishes as prices peak for the most popular entrees.

HONOLULU (KITV4) -- Businesses such as A'ala Meat Market are stocking up for the holidays with more than 100 pallets of beef, pork, chicken and seafood as prices continue to skyrocket.

"We're just trying to have adequate inventory here just so that we can be ahead of the game," said Jonathan Moribe, operations manager.

Moribe's family has owned A'ala Meat Market since 1946.

They recently sold the company to a local businessman as shortages for all kinds of goods -- including cardboard boxes, packaging and food products -- worsened, driving a spike in prices.

"We've been seeing pretty drastic increases over the past few months," he said. "We've never seen this and ... we've been doing this for a very, very long time."

In addition to higher demand for beef, mainland factories are having issues with labor shortages and then there's also shipping delays clogging up the supply chain. He says 95 percent of his meat is imported.

"If you're planning on having a prime rib, or some kalbi or short ribs for your next gathering it's probably better to be safe and buy it ahead a week or two to make sure you have it," Moribe said. "The last thing you want to do is put something on the menu and you try to get it and there's nothing."

Depending on the cut, Moribe estimated meat prices are up 25 to 40 percent.

With no end in sight to supply-chain issues, operators aren't sure when prices will stabilize.

Produced in partnership with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

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