HomeNewsWill Grocery Store Shortages Be a Problem for 2021 Holiday Season?

Will Grocery Store Shortages Be a Problem for 2021 Holiday Season?

by Courtney Blackann
Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Covid-19 mandates are loosened, more people will attend holiday parties this year. If you have plans for big family gatherings, however, officials are warning you may want to get a leg-up on your grocery shopping.

Though it’s unlikely stores will be completely out of your favorite goodies, many grocery chains are going to be limited. Especially when it comes to certain flavors and brands.

Last year, retailers suffered due to the pandemic. We all saw the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 and 2021. Additionally, it was difficult to find many household items needed to make the holiday season a success.

While the Delta variant’s reach is still unknown, though, families who plan to engage in holiday celebrations should plan early.

According to Yahoo! Finance, retailers began shopping as early as last winter for things like turkeys, cranberry sauce, spices and stuffing. Moreover, consumer demand has risen with monthly sales increasing some 14% from two years ago and 3% from last year.

Further, the report also shows that “increased disruptions in global supply chains, labor shortages, as well as higher costs for shipping containers and fuel” added to the price increase most U.S. grocery chains are now reeling from.

In addition, consumers can expect higher grocery prices overall. This is due to increased transportation, cost increases, commodities and labor.

The long and short of it? Plan early. Be flexible when it comes to brands. And expect higher prices. Happy Holidays!

Local Grocery Chains Increase Prices

A popular grocery chain with continually rising prices is Kroger. The store is usually heavily stocked with generic and brand-name goods. However, earlier this year, the retailer warned consumers its prices would continue to rise throughout the year.

Additionally, it warned that a 2-to-3% increase in food prices will be standard. The pandemic’s effects led to these chains of events.

And it’s not just Kroger. Albertsons is also being hit with increased grocery prices. One of the most notable items? Meat. If you’ve noticed your meat prices creeping up, it’s not just you. Beef, pork and chicken rose in price from 6% to 14%.

As a response to these increases, the Biden Administration is fighting back to combat the price increases where they can.

“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products [beef, pork and poultry], and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic,” said Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council.

He added that:

“The administration is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country.”

While the politics of the industry are being sorted, every consumer should still plan accordingly.