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Publix Says It's Limiting These 15 Items, Effective Immediately

The supermarket chain says it's still dealing with supply issues on some essential products.

Of all the changes the pandemic has brought to everyday life, coping with shortages of specific items has been one of the most unpredictable to deal with. What started as a run on essentials such as toilet paper and cleaning products has expanded to include everything from lumber and chicken wings to ketchup packets and vehicles. But with the holidays approaching, grocery stores such as Publix are looking to avoid the bare shelves that left so many shoppers disappointed over the past year and a half by limiting certain items. Read on to see which products the supermarket chain is protecting from panic buying.

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Publix is limiting some essential holiday items as well as some everyday products.

A Publix food & pharmacy store in Hickory, North Carolina
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

Last week, Publix announced that it would be limiting the sale of certain items in all of its 1,289 stores across seven states, effective immediately. The new rules set a cap of two of each item per customer on certain holiday essentials, including canned cranberry sauce, jarred gravy, and canned pie filling.

The supermarket chain is also limiting everyday essentials in the run-up to the holidays, including canola and vegetable oil; cream cheese; bacon; rolled breakfast sausage; paper napkins; disposable plates, cups, and cutlery; bath tissue; refrigerated snacks such as Lunchables; sports drinks; aseptic-type juices such as Capri Sun; canned cat food, including variety packs; and refrigerated pet food.

The company may be trying to prevent a repeat of last year's panic buying episodes.

A man wearing a face mask and rubber gloves shops in a supermarket with empty shelves

According to Maria Brous, director of communications for Publix, the company has enacted the limits due to the bottlenecking of now all too familiar supply chain issues with the high demand shopping requirements of the holiday season. But some experts speculate the company may have learned its lesson from the past year and a half.

"I believe that there is still enough supply for demand for those products. However, we have seen panic buying within the public, and I believe that Publix is just trying to be cautious," Seckin Ozkul, PhD, director of the Supply Chain Innovation Lab at the USF Muma College of Business, told local Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA. "I believe it's a good idea just to basically send a message of 'just buy what you need and don't necessarily buy somebody else's.'"

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Publix hasn't specified when the item limits will be removed.

empty shelves in a store

While the company said in-store signage would alert customers to the new product limits, it did not specify when the new limits would be removed. Ozkul explained that the company could be finding a way to make its inventories last while supply chain issues are still being sorted out.

"It's a possibility that Publix is foreseeing also that, if some of these items are really coming in out of the country and the ports congestion issue was a factor, they also may be implementing some limitations but really my main take on this they are just being precautious that everyone has enough food for Thanksgiving," he said.

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Winn-Dixie is also setting a limit for one essential holiday item at their stores.

winn dixie exterior in daytime
Shutterstock / Jillian Cain Photography

Publix isn't the only major grocer taking steps to control overbuying during the holidays. Winn-Dixie also announced that it's currently struggling with "supply chain challenges" but remains confident its stores can meet demand on most Thanksgiving essential items. However, the company said it was taking steps to control the inventory of one product in particular.

"We have a purchase limit of one turkey per customer to help all families have an opportunity to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year, and we feel confident in our ability to provide the essential items our customers need for their special feast," Southeastern Grocers, the parent company for Winn-Dixie, said in a statement. "While we don't have a limit on other items throughout the store, we are politely asking customers to only purchase what they need for their families while shopping for key holiday items."

RELATED: Target Is Permanently Barring Shoppers From Doing This.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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