Price of condiments driving up food prices, including at Rochester ballpark

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – You might have sticker shock next time you go to the ballpark. The cost of condiments, like ketchup and mustard, is affecting what you pay for other foods, like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Baseball stadiums like Innovative Field in Rochester are feeling the pinch as well.

Food prices at most sports venues are up this year compared to last year, mostly driven by the cost of ketchup and mustard – mainstays of ballparks and stadiums.

“Eating and drinking here at a ballgame is a huge part of the entertainment experience that we offer here at Innovative Field,” say Rochester Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason.

Thousands of baseball fans attended Wednesday’s midday ballgame between the Syracuse Mets and the Rochester Red Wings. With that, thousands of hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries were ordered by these fans. Many of them noticed that food prices are slightly higher than last year.

“I just had a Red Osier and a water, it was $15,” said Jack Guntrum of Henrietta.

Blame that on the ketchup, and other condiments. When you draw ketchup from containers at the stadium, it costs the concession stand money: money that must be made up by raising food prices.

Mason added, “If we have to raise some prices, we’ll raise them on certain items, but not others, but it really depends what kind of pricing we get from our vendors and our suppliers.”

Most fans we talked to say it’s just a sign of the times.

“I hope it doesn’t get to the point where kids can’t come or poor people can’t come to the ballgame because that would be very sad,” said Canandaigua resident Matt Fusco.

Tammy Schedlin said, “That makes sense, but I mean as a one off, I don’t come to the stadium as often as I should, so being like a treat, I think I would pay again.”

The ballpark isn’t the only one feeling the squeeze. Steven Plum, the vendor of Monster Hots located on East Avenue, raised some of his food prices by 20 percent over last year.

“Ninety percent of the people I believe are accustomed to this lifestyle of everything going up. I haven’t heard too much griping about it. People like my food. People like what I do. They trust me, I believe. So, I don’t think they’re gonna really give me any hard time over it,” said Plum.

According to Datasembly, which tracks the weekly changes in grocery prices at stores across the country, condiment prices have jumped about 28 percent since last year.