Shortage in Napa Cabbage causes rise in kimchi prices
Click here to watch Kenny Choi's report.
Maile Fan is picky when it comes to picking her kimchi. She comes to Keeaumoku Supermarket in Kalihi on a regular basis and can easily spot when there's a change in price.
“A dollar up used to be $2.99, now $3.99 dollar little up,” said Fan.
In Waimalu, Palama Supermarket owner Daniel Lim has been working overtime to stock Napa Cabbage at his stores. What normally sells for as little as 39 cents a pound has soared to $1.99 per pound.
“The prices are ridiculous – four times what they would normally be with shipping costs added. It’s not what most people are accustomed to,” said Lim.
On any given week, Lim orders 20,000 pounds of Napa Cabbage from local farms including Aloun Farms. But this week – zero. He's been scrambling to order whatever he can get his hands on, even from farms in Canada, since his California suppliers are also having a difficult time producing the cabbage.
“This is the first time it’s this bad. Normally you’ll see different things happen with the weather. This time, weather’s really bad for a longer time period and so seeing a longer shortage,” said Lim.
Michael Moefu of Aloun Farms spoke to KITV this week about the shortage of pumpkins and says the shortage in Napa Cabbage can be linked to the same reason: unfavorable weather for these kinds of produce.
But if you can't pay the premium at checkout counter and the shortage continues, there could be a solution.
“We bring in daikon and different things from other places. That price is still fairly cheap, so you can make other kinds of kimchi and can replace Napa Kimchee with other kinds,” said Lim.