Inflation creates high prices for food at the San Diego County Fair

The cost of gas and groceries has gone up, and a trip to the county fair is no exception. Many sellers say they had to raise their prices to make a profit.

DEL MAR, Calif. — Some San Diegans were surprised to see the shock of higher food stickers, games and ride tickets at the San Diego County Fair.

“It’s just too much. The tickets were high, I mean it was almost $100 just to get in the door,” said fair attendee Anita Reserva.

How much do your favorite fair trade foods cost?

The cheapest hot dog is $10 at the fair, a whole supreme pizza is $50. The famous Australian Fair Trade battered potatoes range from $12.50 to $14.50.

“We had to raise our prices because our produce is so hard to buy,” said Carmel Dyer, Australian owner of Battered Potatoes.

Australian breaded potatoes

Dyer says the cost of oil and dough has doubled to make her dough potatoes popular if she can even get the produce in time with supply chain delays. She says the price is also high in Australia when she sends the product back to her home country.

“Plus the labor issues, you know they have trouble finding drivers, do you even know how to get the products made,” Dyer said.

For many vendors trying to make a living after not having a fair in Del Mar for two years, Dyer says record inflation couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“We’re trying to keep it low, but if we had the same prices as 2019, we couldn’t survive. There’d be no point being here,” Dyer said.

Sellers do their best

Fruit Caboose Concessions also had to raise prices during the fair. They sell 48 items on their ice cream menu ranging from $8 to $16.

“We’re doing our best, but with the rising price of employees and the challenge of not being able to find them, you have to pay competitively to bring them here,” said Ryann Newman, owner of Fruit Caboose Concession.

She says skyrocketing gas prices boosted her bottom line.

“It’s all a trickle, you know, with gas for me. I’m spending thousands of dollars to get four trucks and trailers here from Northern California,” Newman said.

Newman says visitors to the fair may think the vendors are making a killing on the high food prices, but for every ten dollars she makes, she takes home two dollars.

“The sales tax is 10% right off the bat, and ultimately what I get out of a product is very little,” Newman said.

Expensive fried foods don’t stop some viewers from paying full price.

“We haven’t had any pushback and people have been super positive, with some buying two or three of our most expensive items.

Anita Reserva is shocked her Utah town sister Burma Malkey paid double figures for a funnel cake.

“The price was $13, are you serious? We’re going to eat it all,” Malkey said.

WATCH RELATED: Makeup artists, farm animals, tasty food, rides galore | San Diego County Fair (June 2022).

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