Are the shelves of grocery stores bare? These products can be difficult to find during supply chain disruptions

Correction: A customs dispute at the Canada-U.S. Border involving shippers and US Customs and Border Protection prevents the transport of fish used in fish fingers and sandwiches.

Can’t find what you need in store? You’re not alone.

As the world reaches the two-year threshold of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more items are becoming scarce due to a shortage in the supply chain across the globe.

The supply chain problems are the result of “record congestion at the Port of Los Angeles / Long Beach that has spread to the east coast, widespread power outages across China, shortages of truck drivers and service personnel, and fueled by COVID-19 infections and restrictions, ” Tinglong Dai, a business professor at Johns Hopkins University, told USA TODAY in an email.

Shipping prices have skyrocketed and demand for items has exceeded supply.

Impact on the economy: Food prices soar due to labor shortages, supply chain issues, extreme weather and more

Before making a shopping list, here’s a list of items you might not find:

The flavors of Ben & Jerry

This frozen treat is usually the perfect dessert, but in a September 14 email Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever cited labor shortages as the reason for the reduction in the amount of flavors produced. . The company said it will focus on producing its most popular flavors. Phish Food lovers, you have nothing to fear.

Soft drinks

Fertilizer factories, which lead to the production of carbon dioxide, have had to cut production due to rising costs, causing shortages of food and other commodities, lead partner Per Hong told CNBC from consulting firm Kearney. “We will almost certainly face a global shortage of widely used CO2. CO2 is widely used in the food value chain from inside packaged foods to keep them longer, for dry ice to keep frozen foods cool during delivery, to bubble soft drinks ”, a- he declared.


People have replaced fast food with home-cooked comfort meals, resulting in a scarcity of chicken. In May, suppliers announced a shortage of chicken, which limited menus in some restaurants and increased prices in stores.


Brazil is a supplier of most of the world’s coffee, but the country has experienced a drought that has slowed the production and transportation of coffee beans.


Households with young children should be aware that diaper prices have increased due to rising raw material prices, shipping delays and container shortages, according to Business Insider. Diaper makers Proctor & Gamble (Pampers and Luvs) and Kimberly-Clark (Huggies) announced price increases in early April.

Fish stick

A customs dispute at the Canada-U.S. border retained the Alaska pollock, which is used for fish fingers and sandwiches, stored across the border. Cross-border violations have interrupted the transport of fish and can cause permanent problems in the seafood supply chain.

Frozen meals

Rodney Holcomb, food economist at Oklahoma State University, said ABC27 News that concerns about the delta coronavirus variant are prompting some customers to buy more than usual, as Americans saw at the start of the pandemic, in case there was another lockdown.

Donation season: Don’t wait until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping. Here is why you should shop now.

Heinz Ketchup Packages

With restrictions on indoor dining, most people have shifted to pickup, take-out, and delivery orders, limiting the supply of individual ketchup packages. Kraft Heinz confirmed to USA TODAY in early April that it is working to increase supplies, for example by adding manufacturing lines that would increase production by around 25% for a total of more than 12 billion packages per year. .

Marie Callender’s pâtés

The holidays demand comfort foods, even if you don’t cook them. But expect shortages of Marie Callender’s 10-ounce and 15-ounce jar pies. According to parent company Conagra, it would allocate shipments until Nov. 29 after “experiencing problems with packaging materials from our supplier of trays and cartons, causing production to stop,” CNN Business reports.

McCormick Gourmet Spices

With the holidays approaching, a very important ingredient may be missing from meals prepared across the country: seasonings. McCormick Gourmet Spices is running out of packaging supplies due to closures linked to the pandemic. Lori Robinson, spokesperson for McCormick, said CNN Affairs, “Gourmet is the only product line affected by this packaging shortage” but can be replaced by their usual spices.

Krispie Rice Treats

Production of this lunch box treat was “below service expectations,” as reported in an email sent to suppliers. Shortage persists as Kellogg workers remain on strike, even though production lines restarted as replacement workers were recruited.

Children’s sour patch

In an October 1 email to a grocery distributor, parent company Mondelez said there was “limited availability” on some of their items such as Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish Candy and Toblerone chocolate “due to supply chain constraints”.

Toilet paper

It’s not new to the list of pandemic shortages, but the industry has yet to meet the demand. The shortage stems from the raw material for wood, wood pulp, which is used to make toilet paper. Fox Business reports that only 60% of orders are shipped. Some retailers, such as Costco, have reinstated purchase limits.

Before the ketchup pandemic: A year of COVID-19 product shortage and the items we struggled to find

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supply chain issues mean toilet paper, coffee and chicken are hard to come by

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