We have seen and documented the rising food prices since the COVID pandemic lockdowns began, as well as the early day toilet paper, mask, and cleaning supply shortages.
Now more than a year later we see that "the prices of the stuff that make EVERYTHING are surging," as reported by Stefan Stanford, which offers better insight into the continued increase in shortages in foods, as well as the rapidly rising prices for products, even as the size of some products are being shrunk down to make it seem as if prices haven't risen as much as they truly have.
Recently a reader sent over a number of emails, including links to verify the work he had done in researching, a few of which we will be going over below.
If you are noticing that you are paying the same amount of money, but are getting less product for said money, it is not your imagination.
It has been dubbed "shrinkflation."
LESS PRODUCT, SAME PRICE = 14+% INFLATION
An example of "shrinkflation," described over at ZeroHedge, uses COSTCO to highlight how it is done.
Take Costco, which as The Bear Traps report notes, is now charging the same price for paper towels but the roll has 20 fewer sheets. TBT refers to a recent post in a Red Flag Deals message board, where a member makes the following observation:
Costco paper towels. Same price as the previous several times buying them. Now with 20 fewer sheets.
The stealthy decline of 20 sheets per roll of towels from 160 to 140 for the "same price" is the functional equivalent of 14.3% inflation, and as TBT notes, "In our experience, only potato chip companies can get away with selling a half empty package."
Paper towels are just one example of what is being seen across the retail food industry.
Don’t forget, we are now being told come June we will start seeing gasoline (diesel) shortages. I spoke to a friend in the state of Arizona on Friday and they said they were, where they live, seeing gas stations with no gas.
His friend is correct, there are gas shortages and they are expected to get far worse before they get better, if they ever do.
Seriously, if a person cannot get their hands on the gas they want, isn't that a shortage in and of itself.?
Seeing one gas station here and there without gas is an inconvenience seeing multiple gas stations without gas becomes a problem. So it goes with food.
With a rise in people getting animals during the pandemic lockdowns, it is becoming clear that shortages in some areas cause shortages in others areas. Such as the aluminum can shortages we noted back in 2020, which limited beer choices, soda (or pop!) options, caused canned vegetables shortages, etc.....
The strong sales growth, especially in e-commerce, had a significant impact on supply chains in the pet industry, King noted, leading to some product and raw material shortages that continue today. Product manufacturers were challenged by shifts in production, while also dealing with worker safety protocols due to the pandemic, worker shortages attributed to illness or quarantining and competitors for labor arising from companies such as Amazon. All of these factors have led to supply disruption.
In addition, some shortages of raw materials, from ingredients to packaging materials, like aluminum cans for wet pet food, arose and continue now.
Most pet stores have an online function where foods of all different types, as well as treats, can be ordered and delivered.
Amazon, which delivers to isolated areas like up here in the Western Maryland mountains, also has a wide variety of options, still in stock. (Not quite sure how long that will be the case, as Amazon also ran low on items in 2020 that regular stores did as well, just not as quickly).
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Foods for us mere human beings, are also seeing predictions for shortages expected well into 2022, which includes chicken, hot dogs, bacon, and ketchup, just to name four items already seeing issues and expected to see them for the foreseeable future.
CHARLOTTE — A shortage of poultry in America has been hitting the restaurant industry and now the Charlotte-based Bojangles said it is affecting one of its most popular menu items.
Popularity for chicken has made it difficult for the supply to keep up with the demand, Bloomberg reported.
You all might not have a Bojangles in your state/area however this shows how the CHICKEN shortage is now hitting the economy.
ANP has previously reported on a chicken wing shortages, but now that has become a shortages in other cuts, as other establishment that primarily serve chicken, like KFC, are suffering the same difficulties.
According to the USDA our slaughter/production of chicken is up to over 167.9 MILLION chickens per WEEK verses 164 MILLION chickens for the same week last year. So in one week that is ALMOST FOUR MILLION chickens slaughtered and taken to the market which translates into a 2.38% increase in production year-over-year.
So this begs the question, if production is up which it is being reported why the chicken shortage? This is not only at one fast food restaurant but it is being reported by Bloomberg nationwide. So the simple question is, “Where’s the chicken?” We have been told and we are seeing “food inflation” where the prices are going higher and higher. So is the reason why the prices are going higher and higher.
While the media attention is on the chicken wings shortage with predictions it will get worse, other cuts of chicken are also seeing supply problems.
Having a nice stock of chicken in your freezer, from wings to breasts, when the prices continue to rise, it won't affect you as badly as those without stocks.
It would also be prudent to have some freeze dried, the type that last decades, so if the shortages continue, or the prices simply become to high to bother with, you are still able to have your favorite chicken dishes.
According to Best of Life who cites Business Insider, experts are warning of bacon shortages, and predicting that bacon would get harder to come by and the prices will rise considerably.
Chicken wings aren't the only meat that's hard to come by. Bacon is facing a looming shortage just in time for the summer, Business Insider reports.
According to the news outlet, hogs have been in short supply since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Analysts are predicting that this will soon result in shorter supply and higher prices when it comes to foods made from pork like bacon, if you can find it at all. Christine McCracken, Rabobank executive director for animal protein, told Business Insider that these issues are the "after-effects of last-year's disruption."
Prices are already high, but they will rise even more, so stock up on your bacon!!
The same article linked above, also details another product that is predicted to be harder to come by, and most likely more expensive come Summer.
Alongside bacon, hot dogs are another pork product that's expected to be hard to find in stores this summer, according to Business Insider. With an increasing number of people getting vaccinated, barbecues will be in full effect, driving up the demand for items like hot dogs, which are already suffering because of lower production from last year's hog shortage.
"Bargains on meat might be tough for consumers to find this summer," McCracken said. "So my advice to consumers would be to stock up when you find a good deal."
My advice: Just get all beef franks and be done with it. For those that prefer regular hot dogs, grab them at the store, in bulk, and keep them in your freezer so when Summer comes, you have no need to hunt and peck for product or decent prices.
As for the ketchup shortages, right now they are affecting fast food, and other types of restaurants the most, but doesn't hurt to keep a few extra bottles on hand.... just in case.
There's also bad news on the condiment front, though it may not be directly affecting stores yet. As The Wall Street Journal reported on April 5, the COVID pandemic has caused a shortage of ketchup packets, too. People have been relying more and more on takeout, which has resulted in restaurants struggling to keep this to-go condiment in stock for customers. Some have started pouring out bulk ketchup into individual cups.
Steve Cornell, Kraft Heinz's president of Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home Business Unit, told the WSJ they are asking for patience as the company tries to ramp up supply by opening two new manufacturing lines in April. But it may be some time before your ketchup supply is back to normal.
Between rising prices, "shinkflation" and actual shortages, it is critical to remember that just because the MSM has moved on to other topics, doesn't mean the issue isn't getting much better and is expected to get worse on all fronts.... supply, sizing, and skyrocketing prices.
The pain from the economy killing lockdowns will continue to be felt for a long time to come.
I have said it before and will say it again: Better to be prepared and not need it, than to need it and not be prepared.
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