After some signs of a slow and cautious return to normal before the pandemic this summer, fall 2021 looks remarkably like fall 2020, which means supply issues in grocery stores. This time around, product shortages are scattered throughout the store, but shoppers hoping to get their hands on specific products may find it not so easy right now.
“It’s irregular, it’s not a generalized situation,” said Katie Denis, vice president of research for the Consumer Brands Association, which represents the consumer packaged goods industry, including companies like General. Mills and Kellogg. “It’s not like when the pandemic started, when people went out and emptied the shelves to store them and panicked.”
Still, there are specific product areas that are feeling the most pressure right now. Here are some products to look for on your next grocery run.
What are the stores lacking?
Last year, people stocked up on canned goods and manufacturers faced an aluminum shortage. The the shortage has been going on for over a year in the pandemic, leading to a reduction in the supply of products like tomato paste, canned vegetables and sodas.
Thanksgiving is not quite here yet, and although we are not ready to set the table, maybe it’s time to start looking for the main attraction. Large turkeys were ditched last year in favor of smaller 14 pounds as people gathered in small groups, factories closed due to the pandemic and grain prices soared.
All of these factors combined have resulted in a shortage of smaller turkeys this year â and since it looks like this year may also involve small thanksgiving gatherings, maybe it’s time to grab one and put it in the freezer before the big day, buy a frozen bird, or buy coins instead of all.
The turkey isn’t the only crying bird, nor are chickens on the menu. In February, news of a chicken shortage dropped, causing fast food chains cut back on chicken products. The shortage has now started to affect grocery chains, which are struggling to find chicken suppliers.
4. Pet food
Due to the rising prices of corn, soybeans and meat, pet food is scarce. It’s also 8-20% more expensive than it usually would be. Even large retailers like Target and Amazon also face pet food shortages, leaving many pet owners scrambling for staple foods and favorite treats for their furry friends.
With school and work in full swing in many places, this popular snack option has been on the shelves. While Kraft announced last year that it would keep it on the shelves despite cutting a lot of their products, it seems that the increased demand has exceeded the supply.
If you can’t find your favorite Lunchables, you can always cook snacks for kids at home.
6. Bottled water
Costco has reported shortages of bottled water and water jugs, and the warehouse has already started putting purchase limits on other items anticipate a shortage.
Why are these articles in short supply?
This is because of labor shortages and supply chain issues, from food manufacturers to grocery stores. There just aren’t enough people to “make the goods, move the goods, and sell the goods,” says Jim Dudlicek, a representative of the National Grocers Association.
Additionally, supply is being affected by the growing number of people who cook and eat at home, a trend that began at the start of the pandemic. âThe demand has been very, very high,â says Denis. Still, she doesn’t think there’s a reason people are stocking up. She cited lumber as an example of a product that is extremely difficult to obtain for a while, but has become more abundant in recent months, and the food supply chain is likely to rebound in the same way, although it may take time.
How to buy responsibly now
If you see purchase limits on products in stores, there is no reason to panic or panic buy. Retailers are simply responsible and manage the inventory. âIf people can buy what they need, and only what they need, we’ll have enough,â says Denis.
Buyers should expect that specific items will be more difficult to obtain at times. Pay attention to other buyers and only take what you really need. As the holidays approach, plan to pre-order a turkey and secure other âmust-havesâ in a timely manner. And don’t hesitate to ask your local grocer for item availability.
If you hope to stay out of grocery stores for safety reasons, these stores offer delivery and pickup options.
S’mores chocolate bars
Snack Mix Squares
White chocolate cereal bars
No-Bake Cereal Bars
Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars
Peanut Butter Cereal Treats
Crispy chocolate and malt bars
Black and white cereal treats
Peppermint Cereal Squares
Chocolate and peanut granola bars
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