Bare Grocery Shelves 2022

I’m sure you’ve all been experiencing it, and I understand at least why in most cases, but wondering how it is impacting your regular shopping, and the things you aren’t able to find. My store this morning - this was on the soup aisle and the empty spaces are where the ramen, and instant noodle cups are supposed to be, as well as soup mixes too, most probably. Please share your experiences, am curious to know how the shortages may vary.

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I use distilled water for a medical device and it has been pretty hard to find reliably at our local chain markets for the past 6 months. It’s in stock around every third time I look for it, so I buy multiples when I find it.

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Same, but different products, and there seems to be a pattern, so when they’re in stock, usually buy an extra.

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If these are the various reasons, won’t be easy to predict a pattern.

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All I have are the obvious suggestions: Don’t rely on a small set of ingredients or food choices. Plan your meals ahead, but be prepared to change your plans. If you can buy a bit extra of food, don’t shop from a bare cupboard. (I realize for some, thus is just not possible.) But hoarding huge quantities is probably not necessary. Don’t be the Australian who bought 5000 rolls of toilet paper.

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It’s been hit or miss for me. The regular grocery store has been better now and more consistent recently. Around Thanksgiving and Xmas, I would often have to wait a few weeks for my favorite brands to come back in stock. Not as bad as when pasta and frozen vegetables were gone for weeks on end during the early pandemic, but it was an annoyance for sure.

Now I can get most of what I want readily at American markets, but I also do at least half of my shopping at the Asian markets because that’s what I cook most often. While produce and meat are fine, the packaged goods are a bit of grab 'em while you can! When that disappears you might not see that for months, since many are overseas products. That’s been a lot more difficult to work around. As an example, dried preserved black beans, jars of fermented tofu, fried whole shiitake mushrooms… most of this stuff doesn’t even have an alternative local brand as back up. No preserved black beans = good-bye garlic black bean sauce.

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I was just wondering how the international markets were faring through this - not too unexpected reading your reply. Fingers crossed for stocked shelves soon.

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A couple of days ago, I got the last box of cornstarch in my local Safeway. I suppose if I hadn’t, we could dip into our Passover potato starch supply. At least I can regularly find cream cheese again.

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Another new thing noticed at the regular grocery: ALL spirits were under lock and key. Previously, it was only the ultra top shelf stuff. Evidently, there must be increased theft, but not sure what to think? Wonder how things are at Costco and the dedicated liquor stores. Also wondering about supply gaps within spirits, wine and beer distribution.

This won’t come as a surprise, but Alaska and Hawaii are quite impacted by all the reasons for the shortages, since they are nearly 100% reliant on provisions from the mainland/lower 48.

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My local Costco has plenty of booze, and very little is locked up. Even some bottles going for over $75 are out on the shelves and not in the locked displays. Similar situations in the BevMo, Total Wine & Spirits, and independent stores I’ve been in.

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Other than light cream, I’m no longer running to 3 stores for basics.

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Well that’s reassuring - thanks for the info!

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Good to know. It’s hit or miss on what we find lacking, week to week. Definitely things are spotty, but seemingly plenty of different foods, so good to be flexible. A little annoying and inconvenient at times, yet a bit jarring to see some completely empty shelves. Thanks!

Completely agree. I have supplemented or relied on smaller grocers for many items until this week. Fingers crossed. Paid .55 for a dozen eggs…remember the egg shortage days…

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Yes, along with the flour, sugar and yeast shortages!

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Hit the regular big grocery store for the 1st time in 2 weeks this past Saturday. Still not too bad, but I’m catching on to some of their tricks to also hide obvious brand shortages. Usually the healthier items are on separate shelves or a special section at my local Stop & Shop. I was looking for Mom’s Best cereals and couldn’t find them. I thought I just missed it and doubled back over a few aisles before I realized my mistake. The healthy cereals just stopped and next to them were cans and some healthy granola where the Mom’s Best Cereals usually sit. Sneaky workers just filled the gap with other goods.

There was also a sale on Progresso soups this weekend (a section I normally bypass) and I was surprised how bare those shelves were, except for a few soups that no one apparently likes. Either it was a really good sale (didn’t seem so to me) or it’s a combination of the frigid temperatures and everyone wanted soup this weekend. So far it has been specific brands and they seem to be somewhat aligned to sales at my store. No whole-scale shortages of food types (all pasta shapes are plentiful!)

Light cream continue to be my kyrptonite. Pricing are still outrageous at the closest supermarket, but more reasonable at smaller stores. I’m noticing that they are now hit or miss because I think most consumers are buying from there when they can. Most of these stores only carry a small stock at a time, so you either stumble of freshly re-stocked light cream or no light cream.

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Around here (central NJ) Shoprite has them 10/$10 (but you have to buy 10). A good price, and everyone buying multiples of ten will clear it out fast.

BTW, their new line of spicy soups is indeed spicy. I’m hoping the days of items labeled “spicy” being only slightly above bland are over. :slight_smile:

Agreed. I tried the spicy jambalaya last week and it was indeed spicy. I’m used to having to add hot sauce to things labeled “spicy,” but this soup needed no doctoring.

Very often, while the shelves of sale products may be empty, ShopRite will have stacks in the aisles. I know I saw stacks of their canned vegetables, Progresso soups, and Tuttorosso tomato products last week, all things that were on sale. It made it much easier to grab large amounts for my monthly food pantry donation.

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Three Costcos near us here in South OC and none of them have any locked cases. They’ve even put back the self-checkout lanes they took out several years ago. Must be location by location.

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