There isn’t enough romaine lettuce for salads in the US, mainly because of the chaos created by the pandemic. Demand has been unpredictable as Covid-19 changed consumer behavior and eating patterns, and produce farmers have sustained heavy financial losses since the pandemic started given the volatility. As a result, growers are purposely planting less so they’re not stuck with excess lettuce that is getting more and more expensive to grow and ship.
Now, there isn’t enough romaine to go around and demand is exceeding supply. Retail prices for lettuce are soaring more than any other food item tracked by the US government. Romaine prices are up even more than gasoline. It all points to more expensive salads and higher costs.