Grocery prices soar and supply chains experience backlogs amid coronavirus pandemic

Thursday, August 13, 2020
By Paul Martin

by: Zoey Sky
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spread throughout America during the first half of 2020, worried citizens flocked to stores to stock up on essential supplies. Shoppers bought items like canned soup, cleaning supplies and toilet paper in bulk, emptying grocery shelves due to worries that they might not have enough to last until the pandemic ends.

Five months after the pandemic forced the country to adapt to the “new normal,” data from a market research firm suggests that while supplies of items that were popular during the first half of 2020 are now easier to come by, America may still experience the scarcity of other grocery items as the pandemic continues to cripple the supply chain.

From bad to worse

According to IRI, a renowned market research company, supplies of staple goods are currently recovering. However, grocery shelves are still mostly empty than they were before the pandemic began.

The company warned that consumers should brace themselves as the worse was yet to come.

Coronavirus continues to skyrocket in certain states, and grocers are reporting a new increase in the purchase of staples that could once again cause a shortage in stores across the country.

Shoppers are also buying more kitchen staples like baking ingredients and paper towels. The increased demand has made it hard for manufacturers to produce the items fast enough to ensure that store shelves stay full.

Mostly empty store shelves may be a normal sight during the pandemic

To meet increased consumer demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, manufacturers of food, beverages, paper products and cleaning supplies increased production during spring to give grocers a chance to refill store shelves.

At the peak of worried shoppers cleaning out stores near the end of March, stores in the country sold out on at least 13 percent of items on average. For August, about 10 percent of store items remain out of stock.

The normal range of out of stock items was only from five to seven percent before the pandemic.

The numbers seem small, but research from trade associations suggests that it would cost the supermarket industry a whopping $10 billion in lost revenue to keep store shelves at least 90 percent full for half a year.

This means grocery shoppers with about 20 items on their list would be unable to find two items in one store. Shopper surveys have found that if buyers can’t find all the items they need in one location, they will move on to a different store.

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One Response to “Grocery prices soar and supply chains experience backlogs amid coronavirus pandemic”

  1. Robert Edward Lee

    STILL … not a peep about the solution. Confederacy 2 for those who are mentally challenged and testosterone challenged.


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