Oct 9, 2021 - Economy

Grocery stores could face supply shortages ahead of holidays

Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the store.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Grocery stores could have limited quantities of a number of products heading into the holidays after some of the country's biggest food manufacturers say they're short on supply, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Many companies have told grocers that they'll be short on supply due to labor, commodity and transportation constraints restraining supply chains, according to CNN.

  • Products that could see a shortage include Rice Krispies Treats, Sour Patch Kids, some Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors, McCormick gourmet spices and Marie Callender's pot pies.

The big picture: Supply in grocery stores has improved from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but hasn't fully recovered.

  • Many suppliers have also told grocers to cancel their promotions of certain items over the holiday so they won't sell out from the store quickly, per CNN.
  • Other food brands are imposing purchase caps for certain products due to supply shortfalls.

By the numbers: Nearly 15% of frozen foods were out of stock at stores during the week ending on Oct. 3.

  • That same week, 18% of beverages, 16% of snacks and 15% of candy were out of stock at stores, according to the IRI.
  • Before COVID-19, 7% to 10% of products were out of stock on shelves.

What they're saying: Chieh Huang, CEO of online bulk goods retailer Boxed, told CNN that "allocations are the new norm" from food and packaged goods' makers and are affecting the number of products in stock at Boxed.

  • Huang added that "the industry is better off than we were this time last year."

The bottom line: Other products — like coffee and footwear — will also be in demand this holiday season due to supply chain problems.

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