As store shelves are restocked after the recent shortages in meats, canned goods and cleaning supplies, some are noticing the lack of previous variety available, with many unable to find their usual brands, even as grocers and other stores are stockpiling what they can in preparation for another "wave" of COVID-19.
We are noting the same type of shortage of variety in freeze dried emergency survival foods, where some items are available again, yet others have very long shipping and delivery dates, or just marked as sold out and unavailable.
EatThis gives a very succinct description of why stores continue to have a problem with certain items, such as paper towels:
Paper towels are produced based on how many the brand thinks people will buy. This meant that when the pandemic began and people bought more than usual, plants couldn't keep up with the demand. But there are a few ingredients in paper towels, and all are needed to make the product. So if another material is backed up, so are the paper towels. This combined with bulk buying means we have a paper towel shortage.
The easy answer is to simply build more plants to make the towels. However, the machines used to combine wood, printing ink, a water-based adhesive, conditioners, and any other ingredients into paper towels takes years to assemble.
One interruption in the supply chain, can cause a trickle down effect bringing other shortages with it, but consumers generally only see what is on the shelves and what isn't, but news from the ordering standpoint is rarely reported on.
Recently one of our readers, DD, shared with us something his daughter, who works in the grocery store industry, told him about the unavailability of products she has noted when trying to reorder to restock the shelves.
I had an interesting call with my daughter last night. She is the store director for a large supermarket in the Kroger family. She is the top dog at the store and is responsible for ordering the entire stock. She said usually it takes less than an hour ordering stock but now she spends at least 6 hours everyday. She said so many suppliers are unable to fill orders because they have no inventory! She said if people knew how bad the shortages are they'd be freaking out.
As we were informed, his daughter is not a conspiracy theorist, nor a prepper, yet she was stocking up on certain items because of what she sees happening.
I live in a rural farming community in the Pacific NW. This morning I went to our local battery shop to buy a replacement, heavy duty commercial battery for my backhoe. The long time small business owner sold me one of his last batteries of this kind. He mentioned that he was not sure how long he could keep his business open given what appears to be a complete lack of inventory in the supply chain. In my opinion, this is one more indication that we are out of time and everything is in play. Time to hunker down for the storm. F,M.
Different people, different industries, yet the same inventory issues. The more we researched for this piece, the more we discovered this isn't an issue only in certain pockets of the country, it is widespread and not being widely reported on.
Added to the inventory issues, we see reports on the price hikes for items such as meat, eggs, milk, fish, fruit, rice, cheese and poultry. Other items that is costing more than before the lockdowns, are cleaning supplies, paper products, personal care, clothing and accessories, pet supplies, and health care and prescriptions.
Meat heads the list of groceries experiencing price hikes amid the COVID-19 crisis. Citing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), C+R said beef prices are up 10.3% from February, followed by poultry (+6.3%), eggs (+5.9%), water and soft drinks (+5.3%) and pork (+5%). Among nonfood items, BEA data shows prices up 8.9% for paper goods, 6% for appliances, 5.8% for flowers and potted plants, 5.4% for cleaning products and 3.6% for miscellaneous household products since February.
“Along with higher prices, consumers say they’re still experiencing shortages for certain items,” C+R noted. “For products they normally purchase, most (83%) say they are still having difficulty finding groceries, and over three-quarters (78%) are still having trouble finding household goods.”
With the constant refrain by news outlets about the "second wave" of COVID-19, along with the violent unrest we are seeing with increasing frequency on the streets, as well as the upcoming election chaos, topped off now with the whole Supreme Court confirmation battle, we are in one of the most volatile moments in recent U.S. history.
Everyone appears to be waiting for the next shoe to drop...... or the next building to burn, as it wouldn't take much at this point to cause outright anarchy from one end of the country to the other.
The more reader testimonials we see, from all across the country, the more we see the need to not only be prepared for a short-term disruption, but the possibility of long term civil unrest, which would make the shortages early on during the pandemic, seem like nothing in comparison to what we think is coming.
There is a lot the media is not reporting on, and by the time they do it will be too late. Just look at how long they waited to acknowledge the need to stock up on food and basic necessities, which in turn caused people torush out and start panic shopping, leaving empty shelves and hungry families.
The bottom line here is that there is no such thing as being over-prepared, because the items stockpiled will eventually get used should the worst not happen, but will be needed should the worst happen
Below are links to items that quickly flew off the grocery store shelves at the beginning of this pandemic, because stocking up now, means not being forced to hunt later when everyone else is also searching for specific items.
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