For those of us who regularly go grocery shopping, you may have noticed barren shelves lately. Though that trend started with COVID, other factors are contributing to the recent shortages.
Even the biggest chains in the country aren’t safe from the numerous issues stocking their shelves. CNN Business recently reported about the issue, citing several factors. Among them are the Omicron variant, transportation problems, weather issues, and changing eating habits.
As one might expect, Omicron is playing a large role in shortages. It’s especially contagious, creating staffing shortages for critical functions like transportation and logistics. Albertsons’ CEO Vivek Sankaran acknowledged the issues in an earnings meeting, saying it put “a bit of a dent” on supply efforts. He added to expect more supply issues for the next four to six weeks.
Omicron goes hand-in-hand with the transportation problems plaguing grocery stores. However, the trucking industry as a whole has seen fewer people entering the field. Phil Lempert, a SuperMarketGuru.com industry analyst, notes this problem is an ongoing one. “The trucking industry has an aging workforce on top of a shortage,” he said. “It’s really been a problem for the last several years.
Trader Joe’s, in particular, has been hit hard by weather issues, primarily because the Midwest and Northeast have had hazardous weather lately. Lempert also notes fires and droughts are damaging wheat, corn, and soybean crops in the United States.
Finally, the pandemic seems to have changed our eating habits. “We don’t want to keep eating the same thing and are trying to vary home cooking. As we do that, we’re buying even more food products,” Lempert stated. On top of that, grocery stores realize this and are staggering product releases to prevent hoarding.
In short, this problem may be an ongoing one.
Alaskan Woman Shares How Expensive Grocery Prices are There
It’s one thing for grocery stores to be barren, but rural places are also seeing incredible price hikes. An Alaskan woman gave a firsthand look at how bad it can get there and the prices are insane.
I thought I was justified moaning the prices of things like eggs and milk have steadily been rising. After watching EmilyinAlaska’s TikTok video about Alaskan prices though, I think I have it pretty good. Giving viewers a tour of a grocery store, we see goods there roughly triple the price they are in most areas of the country.
@emilyinalaska_ $18 for milk 🥴 #alaskatok #ruralalaska #fyp #ASOSChaoticToCalm #groceryprices ♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber
“Goods are priced higher since they have to travel farther by plane or barge to get to rural areas,” the video states. “The cost of living in Alaska is 24% higher than the national average.”
Assuming you actually find the milk you want, count your blessings it isn’t over $10.