Shortages at grocery Stores across the country have grown more acute in recent weeks as omicron continues to spread and winter storms have piled on to the supply chain struggles and labor shortages. The shortages being reported nationwide are widespread, impacting produce and meat as well as packaged goods such as cereal.
While items are harder to find, many also cost more with rising inflation. The consumer price index jumped 7% last year, the fastest pace since 1982, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That’s up from 6.8% annually in November, which was also a nearly four-decade high.
Albertsons’ CEO Vivek Sankaran spoke about supply chain challenges during the company’s earnings call with analysts Tuesday. Sankaran said that they think as a business, they have all learned to manage it.They have all learned to make sure that the Stores are still very presentable, give the consumers as much choice as we can get. Curt Covington, senior director of institutional credit at AgAmerica, told USA TODAY that the trends for specific food shortages are intermittent and varied.
Shortages depend on the item, Stores, and region of the country. Shortages can be driven by supply chain issues, consumer behavior, or environmental factors, so it’s hard to pinpoint what will be affected next. U.S. groceries have 5% to 10% of their items out of Stores at any given time; right now, that unavailability rate is hovering around 15%,