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Can’t find pasta or cat food? Empty Store Shelves Are Here to Stay

(Bloomberg) — Social-media sites are flooded with pictures of empty grocery store shelves, and the head of one of the largest U.S. supermarket chains says it will take weeks for the situation to improve.

Albertson Cos. Chief Executive Officer Vivek Sankaran said on Tuesday that there was hope that the supply crunch would improve so far, but “Omicron has made a slight dent”. As a result, the company is still struggling with a number of products that are out of stock after months of similar headaches.

“We expect more supply challenges over the next four to six weeks,” he said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts after Albertson’s earnings report. “As a business we’ve all learned to manage it, we’ve all learned to make sure stores are still very presentable – giving consumers as many options as we can.”

Omicron is exacerbating the disruption in food supply chains that are already stressed. Rising US infections mean more workers in farms, factories, distributors and retailers are getting sick, reducing the flow of goods to shoppers, just as the version prompts people to eat more at home. Port congestion and winter weather in some parts of the country is not helping either.

Online searches for basic products are on the rise, reflecting consumer concern over supply. As of Tuesday afternoon, the list includes chicken, potatoes, spinach, pasta, beef, lettuce, eggs, cream cheese and cat food.

According to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI, for the week ended January, food showed the greatest reduction compared to packaged goods such as cleaning and beauty supplies. 9. The states with the greatest shortages of food and beverages include Alaska, Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi and West Virginia.

The Consumer Brands Association, which represents manufacturers of packaged goods, called on the government to facilitate more coronavirus testing.

Business group CEO Geoff Freeman said, “The supply chain is fragile and unable to withstand further shocks – whether winter storms or, more effectively, Omicron – and that is showing up as empty shelves. ” “In the near term, this means supporting workers who are essential to supply-chain continuity. Testing is the most important requirement. ,

— kelly avellino nbc 12 (@kellyevellino) January 9, 2022

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