The food shortage is affecting all aspects of people's lives. From baby formula to pet food to chicken fingers, consumers are struggling to find these and other everyday products on the grocery store shelves.
Baby formula shortage
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that baby formula is hard to find in many parts of the U.S. Parents are searching for Enfamil, Similac, Gerber, and other brands. The blame game shifts from large retailers like Walmart and CVS saying the manufacturers are having supply issues and formula makers saying retailers aren’t getting the product to stores once it is delivered.
Enfamil responded to a parent on Twitter on Dec. 29, “We are experiencing obstacles in the production and shipping of some of our products as the pandemic continues to cause issues with the supply chain. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this dynamic situation."
Enfamil has a dedicated web page for locating which stores have their baby formula in stock. You can find out where to buy formula and Enfamil products by entering the product you are looking for and your zip code or city into the Enfamil Store Locator.
Likewise, Similac has added a section on their website for a retail locater with this disclaimer, " Due to rapid inventory changes, product locator results may not reflect current availability in store. To find major retailers online and near you that stock Similac products, simply select the category and type of formula you’re looking for, then enter your location."
Pet Food Shortage
We all know that many animals are treated like family. So when consumers discovered that their pet's favorite brand wasn't available, many were forced to buy an alternate brand of whatever they could find. Nationwide, pet owners are reporting difficulty finding pet food online and on store shelves.
Pet ownership has risen during the pandemic as people looked for companionship while facing lockdowns and extended indoor time. According to the American Pet Products Association, 12.6 million U.S. households welcomed a new pet during the final three quarters of 2020.
Pet food plant closures, shortages of raw materials and packaging materials, and supply-chain problems have been among the problems associated with pet food shortages.
Meow Mix and Milk-Bone maker, The JM Smucker Company, notified retailers that shipments would be limited for some pet products. For how long will the shortage continue? In the case of JM Smucker, those delays are expected to persist through January 2023.
Chicken Fingers Shortage
Now, many can live without some of their favorite foods. But, chicken fingers? The newest item, chicken fingers, is on the shortage supply list. Although they have been the saving grace for parents of picky eaters at mealtimes for years, they are getting harder to find and the price is rising.
According to Today, the price of chicken fingers has risen nearly a dollar a pound. Their website also states that chicken tenders require more processing and more packaging than chicken nuggets, which makes them harder to find and more costly.
Tyson Foods said in a news release "Multiple, unprecedented market shocks, including a global pandemic and severe weather conditions, led to an unexpected and drastic drop in meat processors’ abilities to operate at full capacity. Labor shortages are also affecting the nation’s pork and poultry supply."
Restaurants are also feeling the strain. Major chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W have changed their marketing to omit tenders from promotions in order to avoid selling out of them. Others aren't listing a price, which could change daily.
No matter what families purchase at the grocery store or what they order at a restaurant, chances are everyone will be affected in some way in 2022.