Food Notes / Sandy Moribe of Aala Meat Market confirms that local beef prices are moving up due to increased demand.
Just a few years ago, few wanted locally raised pasture-fed beef. Now, demand has risen at a rapid clip as both chefs and home cooks have responded well to a more natural product with no hormones or steroids and to the concept of supporting local ranching.
Sandy estimates that demand has gone up about 25% in the past 12 months. Prices have also gone up, too–about 30%. The good news is that cattle ranches such Jehu Fuller’s Kauai Meat Company and the hui of ranches that form the Maui Cattle Company are getting better prices, so there is incentive to expand. Aala carries both of these lines and ages the meat about 21 days. Prices range from $5.50 a pound for ground beef to strip loin at $10.50 a pound.