Grocery Stores Are Prepping for a Second Wave and Holiday Food Shortages
by Robert Wheeler
Just a few days ago, I wrote an article (The Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE) detailing the disruptions to the US supply chain and explained how food shortages are coming to the United States. In fact, I pointed out how they are already here, but many Americans simply don’t know it yet.
After all, mainstream media hasn’t been telling them about the disruptions to the supply chain as a result of COVID lockdowns and questionable strikes nor is it telling them about how many crops have been destroyed as a result of wildfires in the West of the country, straight-line winds in the middle, or flooding and hurricanes in the south.
The mainstream media says the supply chain is just fine.
The mainstream media has been largely silent and has focused more on telling its readers and viewers that the supply chain is just fine.
That is, until recently.
An article from CNN: “Worried about more shortages, grocery stores are stockpiling goods,” starts out: Grocery stores across the United States are stocking up on products to avoid shortages during a second wave of coronavirus.
The article goes on to say that most household items, like paper towels, Clorox wipes continue to be difficult to keep in stock. This is due to people stockpiling the items due to the COVID pandemic. People are cleaning and sanitizing their homes much more often, hoping to keep the virus away. Stores nationwide are stocking up in preparation for not only a second wave of COVID but also for the coming holidays.
The CNN article states:
That’s why Southeastern Grocers bought its Thanksgiving turkeys and holiday hams over the summer, months before inventory planning normally begins, the company’s CEO Anthony Hucker told the Wall Street Journal. Associated Food Stores started stockpiling cleaning and sanitizing products so it always has inventory in its warehouse, and with cold season around the corner, grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods has already loaded up on herbal tea and cold remedies, the company told the Journal.
Early on in the pandemic, grocery stores were focusing on stockpiling weeks of supplies for shoppers, but now food sellers are focusing on the long-term, aiming to stockpile supplies for months instead.
Grocers have been stocking “Pandemic Pallets” to prepare for the second wave
What is a pandemic pallet?
Grocery stores are stocking pallets with items they fear may run low in the coming months. Keeping these pallets stored in the warehouses, most of them are stocked with cleaning items and paper products, cold medicines, dry goods, and food staples like rice, pasta, and legumes – all the things that they ran out of quickly the last time around. And, with the holidays right around the corner, many stores are stockpiling holiday foods like cranberry sauce.
An article published on Business Insider reported:
“Pandemic Pallets” are gaining more traction, with grocers preparing for worst and stocking the wooden storage structures with items that could be in high demand around Thanksgiving, and even Christmas, according to the Wall Street Journal. The goods being stockpiled on the pallets range from cleaning supplies to dry goods, the report said.
While the pallets vary in nature, their overall purpose remains the same: ensuring grocery stores will be able to handle demand if shoppers begin to “panic buy” as they did in March if COVID-19 cases spike in the winter. In the past week, coronavirus cases have risen in 21 states, as reported by CNN. In countries abroad, a second wave of infections has led to the return of lockdown orders.
The article went on to say that grocery stores are not as sparse as they were in the beginning of the pandemic. Nevertheless, shortages are still expected. The author also wrote:
In some cases, stores have turned to other suppliers to meet demand, which is why some of the toilet paper found on shelves today is from Mexico. Meat suppliers have been hit especially hard by the pandemic due to outbreaks at packaging plants, as previously reported by Business Insider.
Meat shortages were also the focus of this article that describes the effect the pandemic has had on meat supplies.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
Workers at meat packaging plants have been especially hard hit with the coronavirus. Almost 60% of the employees at one Tyson plant in Iowa have tested positive for COVID. Plants everywhere are shutting down for the safety of their employees and despite President Trump’s invocation of the Defense Production Act to force them to reopen, many workers have refused to return to the plants. Factory farms have culled millions of cows, hogs, and chickens because they cannot be to plants that are either closed or reducing the amount of meat they’re able to process while practicing social distancing.
Historically, the centralization of food has always ended in disaster. Unfortunately, giant CAFO operations and USDA approval have centralized our own food supply, and here we are.
Why would there be a food shortage during the holidays?
Why would stores face a shortage of when they haven’t had a shortage in years past? And why would they expect it? Why would that happen on the most socially distanced holiday season in American history?
Many people are staying at home and that means more cooking at home. More cooking at home means more demand for food products from the grocery stores. Regardless of social distancing, people still have to eat.
Mura Dominko of Eat This wrote the article, “Grocery Stores Are Preparing For Shortages Of These Holiday Foods.” She writes,
If there’s one thing that could increase the already existing risk of grocery shortages this fall, it’s the holiday rush. And grocery stores are fully aware that they may face potential challenges trying to keep most sought-after items in stock once November rolls around and we start approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Holiday buying and “second wave” hysteria will no doubt play a major role in causing shortages over the next few months. They are a merchant’s perfect storm of profit. Many merchants are banking on second wave panic buying and holiday panic buying.
So why will there be shortages? Why would suppliers and merchants not stock up and be fully prepared for the coming storm?
The. Food. Supply. Chain. Is. Broken
As I wrote in my last article, the food supply chain is broken. I asked the readers if they have experienced shortages in their areas. Take a look at the comments. People are seeing shortages all over. And they are seeing those shortages now, not three months from now.
If you’re concerned about the broken supply chain, now is the time to start stocking up on food.
You do not have much time left before the items you can grab now are gone and gone for good. Here are some tips for shopping when there aren’t many supplies left on the shelves, and here’s a list of things that are usually imported from China that we haven’t been receiving in the same quantities (if at all) since the crisis began.
I repeat, you cannot wait until the holidays before you start trying to buy what you need. If you aren’t yet prepped, it’s not too late – but you need to start soon. And if the signs pointing toward chaos around the elections is anything to judge by, I’d suggest having all your prep shopping done before Halloween.
Are you stocking up for the second wave of lockdowns? If so, what are you prioritizing? And are you preparing now for the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments.