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You probably figured this out by now, but product and food shortages at the store aren’t just a Covid-era thing. Although we’re still reeling from some of the supply chain disruptions of that turbulent time, we’re also facing other challenges from things like climate change, geopolitical conflict, and even cyberattacks.
Next time you head to the store, you may find that certain items aren’t in stock — or worse, whatever’s in stock carries a higher-than-normal price tag. We’ve compiled a list of items that are experiencing shortages right now, so you’re not surprised when you go on your next grocery run.
What kinds of product & food shortages are happening now?
Floods and heat waves in recent years have caused a big rice shortage worldwide, made worse by increased demand due to conflicts like the one in Ukraine. Prices have jumped 9.5% since March 2022. (But fingers crossed, we might see a 10% price drop by 2024 if weather conditions favor the main rice-growing areas.)
2. Cooking Oil
More and more vegetable oils are being used for green fuels, which means less for cooking. Add in war, wild weather, and fewer pesticides, and we’re looking at a possible shortage of these oils in late 2023. Palm oil is a big player, but with the planet changing and trees being protected, it’s having a tough time keeping up.
3. Prescription Medication
This year we’ve seen the biggest number of drug shortages since 2014, with around 200 active cases listed by the FDA — due to a mix of manufacturing hiccups, supply chain disruptions, and various business and regulatory decisions.
These shortages are causing treatment delays and rationing, seriously impacting patient care. Pretty much all healthcare system pharmacists nationwide are reporting critical drug shortages, affecting the availability of essential medications like chemotherapy drugs and amoxicillin.
The Sriracha shortage, spurred by supplier disputes and inclement weather harming chili crops, has not only halted shipments but also driven resellers to significantly increase prices. Some listings show the sauce priced at up to $2.97 per ounce, a significant markup from the usual $0.21 per ounce.
So, here’s the scoop: in 2020, not many people wanted champagne, but in 2021, everyone wanted a bubbly toast again! But the group in charge of Champagne production set up a smaller cap based on the 2020 slump. Now, they’re racing to catch up, but it might take a few years to get things bubbling smoothly again.
A laxative shortage in the US has emerged, and it seems to have come from a skyrocketing discussion and awareness about gut health, fueled by trends and conversations on platforms like TikTok. The surge in consumption of ultra-processed foods, which can sometimes mess with our stomachs, is believed to be a significant contributor to a growing demand for laxatives.
The Clorox Company, known for popular brands like Burt’s Bees, Glad, and Pine-Sol, is grappling with some hiccups in their supply chain due to a recent cybersecurity attack. This unexpected event caused a major disruption in their operations, which is making it a bit hard to find some of their products on the shelves. As they’re working to repair their IT infrastructure and get things back to normal, they’re tackling orders manually, which, as you can guess, slows things down quite a bit. W
e’re not quite sure when things will be fully up and running again, but Clorox is hopeful to switch back to automated processing soon. So, if your favorite Clorox products are missing from the stores, now you know the backstory.