Persistent supply chain issues could complicate Thanksgiving grocery shopping


In a statement, the Food Industry Association said a combination of several supply chain obstacles, from labor and transportation shortages to natural disasters like Hurricane Ida, are fueling price projections for food.

“The combination of these challenges will continue to be disruptive and create an uneven supply chain recovery that may continue until the end of the year,” the statement said.

The Minnesota Grocers Association said the impacts are being felt among grocers in our state.

“All of these things continue to add up in ways we’ve never experienced before,” said MGA President Jamie Pfuhl. “So I think planning ahead is key.”

Pfuhl recommends that Minnesota residents take these steps to prepare for any supply chain issues that may build up as the vacation approaches:

  • Start shopping early by picking up the non-perishable foods you know you’ll need.
  • Pre-order your turkey. Some local grocers are already taking orders.
  • Talk to your grocer about the best time to purchase various ingredients and possible alternatives in case they aren’t available.
  • Be flexible with your shopping list.

“If you’re used to a specific brand, maybe think of something else that would work the same. So have some flexibility and fluidity in those purchases,” Pfuhl said.

She said she heard grocers statewide ordering various holiday items from their suppliers earlier than usual this year and planning ahead for possible shortages.

“Especially these commodities, if they can get them in their warehouse or in their inventory, then they know they have them. One of the things that is good about Minnesota is that we have a lot of. strong, independent grocers and they’re also very resilient and intuitive. They can work with people, maybe it’s a local business, to make sure these products get out there, “Pfuhl said.

The Consumers Brands Association, which represents major food companies such as General Mills and Coca-Cola, provided this statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

The Consumers Brand Association, which represents large food companies such as General Mills and Coca-Cola, said rising costs for products like aluminum and corn – which rose 93% and 116% respectively per compared to last year – will cause prices to rise. to the grocery store for canned cranberry sauce, corn and turkey come Thanksgiving.

“Our industry has proven to be nimble, coping with pressures and keeping shelves well stocked,” the Consumers Brand Association said in a statement. “The demand for certain products during the holiday season is predictable to some extent, and we can expect companies to employ a variety of strategies, such as streamlining SKUs, to ensure the availability of holiday favorites. “

Spreigl said his store placed an order for turkeys in July and ordered an additional supply of other items that may be more difficult to find as the holidays approach.

He also urges the Minnesotans to plan ahead.

“I certainly wouldn’t wait until Thanksgiving week to start shopping for your stuff. I would start now, especially for some baked goods, like flour and pumpkin, because it might not be the week of Thanksgiving, ”Spreigl said.

Grocers are also asking customers to avoid buying and hoarding panic items, saying this has contributed to some of the shortages seen at the start of the pandemic.

Instead, they recommend buyers slowly buy what they need over the next couple of months.

The National Grocers Association agrees and said in a statement that consumers should be “aware of their neighbors” when preparing for the holidays and “limit their amounts to what they need.”

“Buying early for the holidays is a smart strategy, especially in today’s conditions. There is a lot of food in the supply chain, but certain items can be more difficult to obtain at certain times, which vary by region,” the organization said in a statement. . “… Independent community grocers are keen to help shoppers with their vacation needs as well as their daily purchases, so consumers should not hesitate to contact their local grocers with questions about item availability or, if necessary. , alternatives. “

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