Pepperoni Shortage

COVID development.

Jim Rome
August 18, 2020 - 11:20 am

USA Today


Believe it or not, there has been a truly fortunate group of people who haven’t had to bear the pandemic in any meaningful or cumbersome way. And to no fault of their own. It’s just the way things have broken for them. You know these people—the people without kids who don’t have to homeschool. The people with jobs that were uninterrupted and deemed essential from day one. The people with the kinds of houses where their quarantining is your idea of a vacation rental. Again—no one planned for this so no one can take issue with those feeling it less than others. It’s just reality.

But that small, lucky, and truly blessed group of people is about to finally feel it. Because even though no situation is equal—it’s about to get real. For everyone.

The USA Today reported on Sunday of a harrowing new COVID development. We’ve seen bizarre correlations in the past four months. Like when hand sanitizer ruled the world and was worth its weight in gold. Or when toilet paper was impossible to find. Or when home gym equipment went on a year-long backorder. Or the recent coin shortage because no one has paid for anything with cash since March. 

But this—this is something universally devastating. 

According to the USA Today—we are officially in—a pepperoni shortage.

That’s right. American’s most beloved pizza topping cannot keep up with the demand. And that’s because the demand for pizza right now is through the roof.

And it makes sense, right? Think about your eating habits since March. Think about the amount of times you’ve dialed up delivery and compare that to what you were doing before the pandemic. Right now Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut are all reporting at least 20% gains this past quarter. They truly are the Silk’s-Wife-of-the-Pandemic. Just making bank in the face of adversity. While so many businesses are getting boarded up for good—these pizza giants are booming. And that’s because pizza is recession-proof.  Its pandemic proof: the most insidious virus, pretty much ever, has found its way to virtually ever corner of the world: but not these cheese and bread factories. Because pretty much.

Everyone loves pizza. Hell—even the giant rat at Chuck E. Cheese knew it so they rebranded as Pasqually’s, didn’t tell anyone, and stacked cash serving their microwaved cardboard before a few DoorDash customers followed the breadcrumbs right back to the moldy ball pits of rodent hell. 

Point is this; pizza is king. And pepperoni is the topping god. And because so many pies are going out right now, the country can’t keep up with the demand for the thinly sliced, divine meat from heaven. 

The USA Today interviewed a few different pizza shops on the east coast who are reporting that the price for pepperoni has doubled from the same time last year. We’re all crackheads for pepperoni—and our dealers are grappling with a supply shortage. So the meat drug is inflated. 

What’s truly abhorrent is that Papa John’s just introduced a new pie called the Shaq-a-Roni—which is an homage to their new spokesperson, Shaquille O’Neal. And in truly Shaq-fashion—since this guy can’t be in enough commercials—this particular pizza abomination can’t have enough pepperoni. Because this Shaq-a-Roni concoction features 66 slices of pepperoni. 66! 

Save some for the rest of us who don’t want to eat that nasty garlic drenched crap. 

Obviously, the shortage in the supply chain gets passed down to the customer. So it’s expected that the price of pizza is gonna make like the price of the gas and start skyrocketing soon.

As if times weren’t hard enough—now pepperoni pizza is gonna cost. 

Somewhere Jimmy Barista and Big Face Coffee are smiling at yet another example of supply and demand rearing its ugly, profitable head.

So what’s it gonna be? Are you gonna stick with pepperoni as pepperoni sticks it to you? Or are you gonna mix it up and go for your backup topping? Do you even have a backup topping? Or you gonna pivot out of the pizza category completely

This calendar year keeps inventing new ways to outdo itself. But a pepperoni shortage might be the final straw. 

Notice what we’re not talking about here. What’s it say about us all that we’re not in the midst of a salad shortage? Kale is pretty easy to find right now. No one is going to gouge you on the price of kale.