This Household Staple Is Disappearing From Shelves

The pandemic has led to shortages of yet another important item.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected daily life in more ways than can easily be listed, but major product shortages continue to be a lingering issue even as vaccinations increase and case numbers drop. What began as toilet paper and cleaning supplies being hard to come by has spread into foods such as chicken wings and bacon becoming scarce or more expensive. But now, another household staple has begun disappearing from shelves due to a sudden shortage. Read on to see what has become the latest victim of the pandemic product pinch, and for more on how meals may not be the same in the coming months, This Beloved Summer Food Is Disappearing From Stores and Restaurants.

Pet food is now in short supply nationwide.

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If you're one of the many who adopted a four-legged friend during the pandemic, take note: there is currently a pet food shortage across the U.S. According to comments made during Global Pet Expo (GPE) Digital Access 2021 by Steve King, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the pandemic has led to pet food and pet product supply issues and transportation issues, Supermarket News reports.

King noted that a 9.7 percent increase in pet food sales between 2019 and 2020 had put a strain on supply chains that are already struggling with a shortage of raw materials needed to make the products. Worker safety protocols at production facilities and labor shortages are also playing a factor in the supply chain hiccup.

Canned wet food for pets may be especially hard to come by, one CEO says.

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If your cat or dog has particular tastes, the current shortage might be especially challenging. Canned wet pet food is in particularly short supply thanks to a surge in demand and existing production limitations, Sumit Singh, CEO of online pet supply company Chewy, says.

"Wet food is a really popular category within pet food, and it makes up roughly 20 percent or 30 percent of the category," Singh told Yahoo Finance Live in late March. He noted that only "three or four manufacturers produce wet canned food in the United States" that already enjoyed high sales when the surge of demand hit during the pandemic. "So as a result, you have an imbalance and a bit of a shortage," Singh explained. And for more on major retail changes, This One Thing Is Disappearing From Walmarts Nationwide.

The current pet food shortage could last into 2022.

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King pointed out that the recent boom in pet purchases, which surged to new heights during the pandemic, meant that there would be a continued demand on essential everyday pet care items like food. He predicted that the current shortages could carry on through the end of the year and into 2022.

Singh also forecasted that it would take some time for the supply issues to be ironed out. "The shortage is at the industrywide level, so like isolated out-of-stocks," he told Yahoo Finance Live. "We are working very closely with these manufacturers and vendors to be able to course-correct. It's going to take a few months before new capacity comes online, but ultimately there should be new capacity released into the marketplace, and the situation should go back to normal."

Organizations are urging customers not to horde pet food or supplies in the meantime.

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For now, organizations are pleading with the public not to create another toilet paper-style supply crisis in supermarkets. "The Pet Food Institute (PFI) strongly encourages shoppers to only purchase the amount food they would regularly need," Dana Brooks, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Pet Food Institute, said in an interview with NBC-affiliate WGRZ in Western New York.

"Be assured that America's pet food makers are working to safely produce food for your pets, and we recommend contacting the individual company for assistance regarding a specific dog or cat food product," she added. And for more on things that have suddenly gone missing from some physical retail locations, This One Thing Is Disappearing From 300 Walmart Stores.

Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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