'It's harder to get by': Triangle businesses and locals react to rising costs

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Businesses and consumers in the Triangle tell ABC11 they are seeing sticker shock as the cost of living keeps going up.

Ye Htet is like so many wondering when we could see some relief in rising food costs.

Htet works at a sushi bar and purchases supplies for the kitchen.

"Avocados. Usually it's like 50 or 60 dollars around this time. Now it's like $80 bucks," said Htet.

Duke Student Azana Green is noticing the shortages from her favorite juice boxes to certain breads and cereals.

"It's just all been out, and I've been wandering kind of what's been causing this change in the past few weeks," said Green.

One contributing factor for inflation hitting our wallets is the Russian war in Ukraine.

As it rages on, supply chain experts say food supply and harvest seasons will be at risk, some distribution channels strained.

The latest example of this is the rising prices of global cooking oil.

Supply chain experts at NC State estimate 60% of the world's supply of sunflower oil comes from Russia and Ukraine.

Sunflower oil can be found in many products, including cookies and cosmetics.

But here at home, staff at Spanglish in downtown Durham say it's soybean oil that's running low and the price is high.

A few years ago, a gallon would cost them just $17 dollars, now it's nearly $50.

Doel Gonzalez is a co-owner of the restaurant. He tells ABC11 poultry prices are up too.

"Chicken was always one of those things. Oh chicken breast, boneless, skinless, that's two dollars or less. But now if I get it for $3 I'm getting it for cheap. And it's crazy," said Gonzalez.

Rising costs his customers are now sharing, with no complaints, he says.

But for how long?

"Most of the prices on my menu have gone up from 10 to 25%," said Gonzalez. "In terms of relief the market isn't telling me that it's going to get any better any time soon."
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