A shortage of pepperoni may leave pizza lovers in the lurch as pizzerias around the country are faced with increasing prices, Bloomberg reported.

As the demand for pizza increased during the pandemic, so has the price of pepperoni, which has nearly doubled for some pizza parlors. This is only being compounded by the labor-intensive production of the meat, which many producers have reportedly eliminated from their processing lines.

Pork processors “are basically just shipping out large pieces of meat for further processing,” Barry Friends, a partner at foodservice consultant Pentallect told Bloomberg. “They’re not doing as much because they don’t have the people to do the work.”

Demand has also sharply increased as consumers shifted toward pizza delivery and takeout during the pandemic as restaurant dining rooms remained closed.

Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s International reported record sales during the pandemic, but they have long-term contracts to keep ingredient prices the same.

Matthew Hyland, a chef and co-owner at Emily, a New York City pizza parlor, told Bloomberg, the price increase and shortage has not affected its customers.

“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” he said. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza -- it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”

Pizza Hut
A Pizza Hut worker was allegedly fired for writing an inappropriate joke inside of a pizza box. Here, Pizza Hut's pizza is pictured on November 18, 2016 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Getty Images