NEW YORK - Steve Tarpin can bake a graham cracker crust in his sleep, but explaining why the price for his Key lime pies went from $20 to $25 required mastering a thornier topic: global economics.
He recently wrote a letter to his customers and posted it near the cash register listing the factors — dairy prices driven higher by conglomerates buying up milk supplies, heat waves in Europe and California, demand from emerging markets and the weak dollar.
The owner of Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies in Brooklyn said he didn't want customers thinking he was "jacking up prices because I have a unique product."
"I have to justify it," he said.
The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food inflation in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due on Wednesday to show it's getting worse.
By ELLEN SIMON, AP Business Writer
NVDL: Newspapers and news peddlers ought to do well over the next 20-30 years. There is going to be so much bad news, there won't be enough space for all of it.