2020 has been a year like we have never seen before—between changes in lifestyle, fear, uncertainty and the need for new hobbies, food shopping habits have totally flipped from the norm. With everything happening suddenly and without warning, grocery store aisles were often bare and empty of products that we took for granted. Since food manufacturers haven’t fully recovered and the holiday season is upon us, the reality is that some of the items below could be in short supply.
- Beef and poultry– as we know, many meat processors had to close due to coronavirus outbreaks in some of the plants and when they reopened they had to deal with new protocols like glass dividers and limited employees. The new outbreaks have exacerbated the problem so look for shortages of these to continue into 2021.
- Beer– yes, consumption of beer has increased, but aluminum cans are the reason that you may have a problem finding your favorite brew, especially if you like beers from small craft breweries—the big guys like Bud and Miller Coors have snapped all of the cans up!
- Canned soup– people started hoarding canned goods at the start of the pandemic and production by General Mills and Campbell’s still has not caught up with demand. You may have to settle for a flavor that’s a second choice.
- Canned corn– sweet corn is only harvested once a year, in the summer and sales of canned corn went up 47.6% in the spring of 2020. There are fewer trucks to transport food and there will be no increase in production, so this item may be hard to find.
- Flour– same story here—unprecedented demand like the other baking essentials and shoppers buying extra means that this product also will be hard to come by.
- Seeds– gardening became such a popular pandemic hobby that a seed shortage resulted and looks to continue in 2021.
- Soda– the same can problem affects sodas, but there is also a lack of carbon dioxide, a critical component that gives soda its bubbly, fizzy characteristics. One expert says that “shortages will continue for the rest of the year.”
- Snack foods– many of the companies have had to cut back on the variety of products that they offer, going back to basic flavors because of the need to cutback on production as well. Shortages into 2021 are expected to continue.
- Spam– sales of this canned meat soared in the spring, but Hormel, the manufacturer, cites supply chain, staffing and production problems which will reduce the amount of Spam that can be produced.
- Yeast– many folks went crazy baking while being cooped up and yeast saw a 258.5% sales increase as a result. Since holiday season is a peak demand time also this shortage could easily last well into 2021.
Hopefully this ‘new reality’ will be short-lived and we can get back to normal soon!