Recent Freeze Forces Produce Prices to Skyrocket

Prices have nearly doubled on items like spinach, romaine lettuce and broccoli

By Bob Hansen
|  Sunday, Jan 20, 2013  |  Updated 9:11 AM PDT
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Hideko Edwards from Shimbashi Izakaya restaurant and Dirk Stumps from Stumps Family Market talks to NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob about the rising cost of produce.

Hideko Edwards from Shimbashi Izakaya restaurant and Dirk Stumps from Stumps Family Market talks to NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob about the rising cost of produce.

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The cold weather is gone but you will still feeling the impact of those freezing temperatures - especially when you step inside your grocery store.

While the citrus crop survived the deep freeze, the winter freeze took a toll on California crops and drove up prices for asparagus and artichokes. Prices have nearly doubled on items like spinach, romaine lettuce and broccoli.

Shoppers were in for a little sticker shock this week as they went through the produce department.

“Prices go up, they create a huge glut in the warehouse and then the bottom’s going to fall out of it pretty soon,” said Dirk Stumps of Stumps Family Market in Southern California. “By two weeks the prices will be cheaper than they were prior to the freeze.”

Restaurants are also feeling the pinch. At Shimbashi in Del Mar they can't raise the prices on the menu, so they simply make less money on every meal.

“The price of gas is one thing,” said Hideko Edwards of Shimbashi Izakaya. “But when they raise the price on my broccoli it’s killing me.”

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