NEW YORK — Ah, bacon, egg and cheese. The classic bodega breakfast sandwich is a staple in many New Yorkers’ diets. It’s easy to make, easy to eat on the go and cheap – although not as cheap as it used to be.
To keep up with the current levels of inflation due to the pandemic and Russia’s war with Ukraine, bodegas owners have no choice but to raise the prices of their famously cheap breakfast sandwiches.
“Bacon, egg and cheese — you can’t get that sandwich,” said Francisco Marte, who owns a bodega in the Bronx. “This is New Yorkers’ favorite sandwich.”
Mars had to raise prices on everything from sugar to potato chips, and the cost of its bacon, egg and cheese sandwich went from $2.50 to $4.50.
At the wholesale level, inflation rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, the US Labor Department reported. Producer prices rose nearly 18% for goods and nearly 8% for services compared to June 2021.
“These things happen. And normally, in normal times, the supply chain is able to absorb some of that shock,” said Katie Denis, spokeswoman for the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group that represents food, personal care and for cleaning. “Right now, it’s just not weakness.”
Frances Rice, who stopped by Mars’ bodega for a bacon, egg and cheese, says she’s trying to figure out how to make less of a dent in her budget as prices rise. She says there’s always a silver lining.
“It means I buy a good breakfast and stretch it until lunchtime and don’t eat until I get home, which means I lose weight,” she said. “I have to look on the bright side of things, because you know what? However, if you have to move, you have to pay. If you’re hungry, you have to eat.”