New York – In about a week, the special Passover aisles, tents and even separate stores will be open for the busiest holiday season of the Jewish calendar. Once this week’s Purim (eve of March 23rd) is over, all efforts are on Passover. According to industry sources, shoppers can expect to pay as much as 5% - 7% higher than last year with some of the culprits being eggs, lamb, and beef, all of which experienced increases since Passover 2015. Due to shortages, the price of lamb had risen in some cases as much as 18% and beef by as much as 10% since last year. The sources said that they expect only nominal increases on such items as canned goods, chocolate, snacks and dairy products. The price of hand-made Shmurah Matzah is expected to rise by $1.00 - $1.50 per lb., according to a Kosher Today Survey. The bakeries say that the increase is due to higher costs for labor and materials. At Chareidim Matzah, for example, the price of a lb. of Shmurah is $30 a lb. with $35 for Whole Wheat. Shatzer Matzah will go for $25.50. This will be the approximate range of all Matzah bakeries. The prices in retail stores will vary in the New York Metropolitan area but out-of-towners will in many cases be paying as much as $5.00 per lb. more. In general, say food sources, filling a shopping wagon this year with the same items as in 2015 should hover at approximately 5% - 7% higher than last year. They point out that not all stores have the same mark-up. In other words, customers will be paying more for some items in some stores. This is certainly a time of year where an educated consumer can do well.