May 13, 2022 - Axios Events

Baby formula producer expects delays through 2022

Baby formula empty shelves.

The baby formula shortage will last for the "balance of the year," the CEO of Perrigo — one of the four companies that control nearly 90% of the U.S. baby formula market — told Reuters.

Why it matters: American families are facing a baby formula shortage due to supply chain complications and a recent recall of Abbott Nutrition products.

  • Perrigo makes store-brand baby formulas for big retailers, including Walmart, Target and Amazon. It has been working with these companies to provide more formula options during the ongoing shortage.

The latest: Murray Kessler told Reuters that the company's facilities in Ohio and Vermont are running at 115% of capacity to keep up with demand.

  • Perrigo — which makes up 8% of the baby formula market — is working with Walmart and Target so they can "get something each week" amid the shortage, Kessler told Reuters.
  • The company said the FDA has asked Perrigo to make products Similac Pro Sensitive and Pro Advance, as well as Enfamil Gentle Ease and Infant.
  • "We have stepped up and are killing ourselves to do everything we can," Kessler said in the interview.

Zoom out: It's unclear when the baby formula shortage will end as the supply chain still faces complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • American families have been in a state of panic over the shortage because some parents and caregivers rely on formula to feed their children.
Percentage of baby formula out of stock
Data: Datasembly; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Abbott Nutrition on Friday said that baby formula products could be available on shelves six to eight weeks after it reopens its Sturgis, Michigan, site, which was closed down after a recall from the FDA.

  • President Biden announced Thursday the White House will look to cut "red tape" to make sure baby formula makes it to shelves quicker.
  • FDA commissioner Robert Califf tweeted Friday that the FDA will announce plans about how manufacturers overseas can important products to the United States.

Go deeper: Why there is a baby formula crisis and what can be done about it

Go deeper