Jun 11, 2022 - Economy

Supply chain issues are creating a tampon shortage


Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

People in search of tampons and other period products are finding sparsely stocked store shelves and higher prices, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Popular retailers CVS and Walgreens, as well as major manufacturer Proctor & Gamble, acknowledged a shortage of tampons and other period products and said they are working to meet consumer demand as soon as possible, per CNN.

The big picture: Supply chain issues and historically high inflation have affected all manner of goods. Tampon prices are up roughly 10% from a year ago, Bloomberg reports, while the cost of menstrual pads has risen more than 8% during the same period.

  • Contributing to the rising prices is an uptick in the cost to make the products. Materials manufacturers need — cotton and plastic — have been in high demand for use in personal protective equipment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constrained the supply of fertilizer that’s needed to grow cotton, CNN reports.

What they’re saying: A Procter & Gamble spokesperson, which owns the Tampax and Always brands, blamed higher demand on an ad campaign the company unveiled in July 2020 with the comedian Amy Schumer, Time reported.

  • Since then, “retail sales growth has exploded,” the spokesperson said.
  • "We understand it is frustrating for consumers when they can't find what they need," the spokesperson said, per CNN. "We can assure you this is a temporary situation."

Go deeper: Inflation rises 8.6%, the fastest pace in over 40 years

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