The Brisket Crisis

BrisketThe world may not miss the briskets, but not in Texas where it sells like “hot cakes.” The news that there is shortage in this beef cut is taken quite seriously around the state. Do Texans need to guard their briskets just as Michael Kaminer suggested in the article The Great Brisket Crisis of 2014 posted in The Jewish Daily Forward.

Guard your briskets!

Brisket prices are skyrocketing nationwide as voracious demand for a “limited edition” Arby’s brisket sandwich eats into supply for the prized cut of meat.

Fueled by a hugely successful online marketing campaign, the fast-food giant is consuming more than a half-million pounds of brisket every week to keep up with its 3,300 stores demand for the “Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich,” whose schtick is that it smokes for thirteen hours.

Arby being the reason for the brisket crisis and the soaring brisket prices is also the essence of the article Arby’s New Sandwich Causes Spike in Brisket Prices by Erin DeJesus for Eater.

Arby’s has managed to create major buzz for its limited-time-only Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich … causing a major spike in brisket prices: from roughly $2.50 per pound in early March 2014 to $3.15 per pound by mid-April.

Although beef prices have been rising steadily of late — up four percent since last year — Vaughn and market analyst Gary Morrison note “the level that briskets have risen to are unlike any other beef cut.”

Texas Monthly said TMBBQ became viral after the ad showed how a piece of meat is smoke-processed for 3 hours and that’s how it pushed the briskets price in 2014. Texans in particular and other foodies fear the threat as it compounds the United States reached an all-time low level of cattle production.

The fear is well-founded as the crisis has gone beyond 2014. It is 2015 – the supply is still short while the demand continues to soar. This is the essence of the news Brisket Shortage has Texas​ Barbecue Lovers Facing  Rising Costs posted in the CBS News.

Customers line up at Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, Texas, for a plate full of the top-rated-brisket co-owner Belender Wells has been serving for 15 years.

Business is good, but the restaurant is facing a new challenge: a dramatic spike in the cost of beef.

Wells confided that she is unsure if Fargo’s Pit will make it through. Increasing the price can kill the business.

Jeff Savell of Texas A&M University said, “There are fewer briskets today than in the past. But there is a greater demand for briskets.” This is something that came up as the economy got better and with the amazing growth of Texas-style barbecue, not only in Texas but in the entire country. Unfortunately, the demand cannot be matched by supply with droughts thinning the herd sizes to record low in 60 years.

These are the sad realities about the state of brisket in Texas, and in the US in general. With the briskets being the hallmark of barbecue, the crisis is makes the future bleak.  Daniel Vaughn, the Texas Monthly Barbecue editor summed uo the Texan sentiments very well when he said,  “Texas barbecue without brisket, well it’s just pork. That’s no fun.Texas-style barbecue has become a lot more popular all across the country. Even fast food chains like Arby’s have gotten on the bandwagon of brisket.”

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