What’s Up With The Empty Shelves At Local Supermarkets
COVID-19 has caused widespread problems for supply chains that move food from manufacturers to local grocery stores, we have seen this since the very beginning of the pandemic.
WKBW-TV tells us that six months since the virus started, we are still seeing several popular food items hard to find.
For example, we talked on air about the company that produces "Peeps" recently announced that it will not have Halloween or Christmas versions of the marshmallow treat this year.
"I don't think the consumer will know when they walk into a supermarket what is short and what is not short because so many things are disrupted," said John Phillip Tarantino Jr., president of Tarantino Foods, LLC in Buffalo.
Tarantino Foods is a wholesale food distributor in the Western New York area with 2,000 customers that among other outlets include colleges, casinos, restaurants.
Tarantino told 7 Eyewitness News that his business is having a hard time finding items such as french fries, certain types of cheese, bread crumbs, ketchup, macaroni and cheese, and McCormick spices to name a few.
Pasta and flavored drinks have seen reductions.
This has forced some consumers to buy anything they could stockpile, such as soups and frozen vegetables.
The shut down of food plants with workers afraid of the virus started has added to the problem.
There is also a shortage of product packaging materials which could be one of the reasons why some products are having a hard time getting to store shelves.
Tarantino is also recommending people take advantage of the harvest season here in Western New York to stock-up on corn, tomatoes, and squash. They are both plentiful and cheap, and looking ahead there could be produce problems coming as workers are not able to pick citrus and row crops, like lettuce and broccoli, on the West Coast due to the wildfires.
Why is pumpkin so hard to find?
Libby's gave the following response:
"The team in Illinois is currently working hard harvesting Libby’s pumpkins and canning for the upcoming season. We typically begin shipping to retailers around this time for bake season, so you can expect to see pumpkin back on shelves over the next few weeks."
Channel 7 also had the following statement from Wegmans:
"There are certain products that are still in high demand, for example, cleaning supplies and paper products. While we continue to get shipments of these products to our stores, we are on allocation from the manufacturers. We have purchase limits on these high-demand products to best serve the needs of as many customers as possible."