Shoppers in the produce aisle of Stongs Market in North Vancouver did a double take on Wednesday when they saw the price of a head of romaine lettuce. "Well, I'm completely shocked at it being $5.99," said one woman. "I love my Caesar salad, but at $5.99, I'm definitely going to cut back on my salads and eat other things because it's getting ridiculous."
Chopped romaine was even more expensive at $6.99, while a bag of three hearts of romaine was selling for $8.99. The president of Stongs Market, Brian Bradley, said the rapid increase in the price of both romaine and iceberg lettuce is due to an unprecedented shortage of product.
"It's a very limited supply out there, which means we have to pay a premium for it," he said. "As of today, we pay more than $6 for a head of romaine lettuce, so it's not us trying to take advantage of inflation or anything like that."
Micky Tkac, the produce procurement director of Burnaby-based online grocer Spud.ca, said his company is also taking a loss on several types of lettuce right now. "So even though our customers are seeing a higher price than they're used to, we are actually not passing on the increase to them fully," he said.
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