Food and drink demand is expected to soar at the fair this year, but ingredients, supplies and staff are all in short supply.
Why it matters: You'll likely have to pay $1-2 more for your favorite foods as rising costs are passed to consumers.
- And don't expect all your favorite menu items to be there. We've heard it's hard to find everything from pickle spears to Corona.
For example: Cooking oil, a fried food staple, was difficult to track down, said Jada Smith, owner of Jada Concessions.
- When she found it, the cost for a case more than doubled from the last fair — $25 to $58.
- "It's outrageous and then the customers are mad at us because we have to raise our prices," Smith said.
Plus: Vendors were required to share their menus and lock-in prices earlier this summer. But they say prices fluctuate every week.
- Bryan Etchen, owner of Iowa Orchard, said he had to ask fair officials last week if he could raise his prices or risk not attending. (They obliged, he said.)
- Less than 20% of vendors have approached the fair asking to change their prices this year, according to officials.
The big picture: With SBA loans to pay back and pricier expenses, this year will be about staying afloat, said Helen Little of Campbell's Concessions.
- "Crazy is the only word I can come up with because it's almost like we just can't get our head around it yet," Little said.
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