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Vendors combat inflation and supply issues ahead of WI State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 19:41:36-04

While the food is one of the biggest stars at the Wisconsin State Fair, this year vendors are combating supply issues and historic inflation.

Jessica Jerky, owner of the Appleton based "All things jerky" and "Exotic Meat Grill," said they began preparing last September but have faced one challenge after another, including shortages in supplies like gloves and alligator, which is their biggest seller.

"The biggest impact we've had is shipping costs. That really has gone up so what used to cost us $400 to have a truck sent up full of alligator or you know things like that is now closer to like $800-900. So we have to figure that in our final cost," Jerky said.

Jerky said they are keeping price increases to a minimum while finding ways to deliver as much bang for your buck.

Owner of Exotic Meat Grill talks inflation, supply chain issues

"It's very difficult, but you know what? I think we're all doing our best," said Wendy Matel, owner of Freese's Candy Shoppe and Heavenly Roasted Nuts in West Allis.

For Matel, getting raw ingredients like sugar and cinnamon for their homemade sweets and roasted nuts is tougher than usual, plus, those staples now come at a premium.

"It's hard sometimes for absorbing more costs than we can, but we're trying because I want everybody to enjoy it and I don't want to have to raise prices," Matel explained.

Jerky noted that state fair organizers are working with vendors by allowing them to wait to turn in menu prices until they arrive in case costs rise even more.

There are ways to save money at the state fair while supporting local businesses. For $5 you can get a bargain book that is packed with more than 80 coupons on food, drink, and more. Also, the fair's Crazy Grazin Day features dozens of food items to try at a discount.

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