The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt in many aspects of our lives. One that is particularly challenging for our co-op is the impact on our food supply — demand for many products is again exceeding supply, reducing our ability to keep our shelves fully stocked to meet the needs of our members and shoppers.
Early in the pandemic, panic buying was the cause of many of the out-of-stock situations that grocers experienced. Although the food industry was able to rebound somewhat, the sustained nature of the pandemic, combined with the slow pace of vaccination globally and the recent surge caused by the Delta variant, have resurfaced the problem. There is a scarcity of many raw materials and labor shortages persist for national manufacturers, distributors and transportation companies alike.
Frozen foods, baking products, snacks, supplements, beverages, paper products, household cleaners and pet foods have been particularly affected, but our co-op has experienced out-of-stocks in many categories.
While the food industry is taking many steps to mitigate the problem, recovery estimates continue to be pushed out and out-of-stocks on some products from national suppliers are likely through the end of the year.
On the bright side, our co-op continues to work with local farmers and producers, and supply of these items remains relatively stable. When we have sufficient supply, we’ll let you know so that you can shop with confidence that there is enough for everyone. We may have to offer new or different brands, or fewer flavors or sizes on some familiar ones, but whenever we are unable to stock an item, we will do our best to find and provide you with substitutes. We encourage you to try something new and when in doubt or if you need assistance, please ask!
Our food system is strong and resilient, and these challenges will be resolved in time. Thank you for your support and patronage as we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic. We’re all in this together!