Spreading The Pain: Pizza Makers Hit With Higher Cheese Costs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Pizza makers - from family run pizzerias to national delivery chains - are feeling the pinch from escalating costs for an essential ingredient in a competitive industry.

Block cheddar cheese was more than two dollars a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, compared to a dollar and 17 cents a pound a year ago.

Many pizza makers are passing along the expense.

Pizza Hut and Papa John's have raised the price of their cheese-only pizzas to the same amount as one-topping pizzas at company-owned stores.

Chris Sternberg, a spokesman for Louisville-based Papa John's says the company uses about 100 (M) million pounds of cheese each year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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