A new round of pantry stocking is being anticipated as a response to a second wave of the pandemic, and processors are gearing up for it.
As infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 all trend upward, predictions are spreading about consumers poised to stock up on non-perishable basics like dried pasta and canned goods. Demand for items for home baking were up 3,400% in the three weeks through Oct. 13 compared with a year earlier, according to a statistic quoted in Bloomberg. That compares with a 6,000% jump at the beginning of the pandemic in spring.
Bloomberg reports that General Mills, Conagra Brands, Campbell Soup Co. and Stonyfield Farm have all expanded production capacity in various ways.
“We are pretty much selling everything we can make,” Conagra CEO Sean Connolly told Bloomberg. “As long as demand remains very elevated, and if there is an additional uptick, that will just further stretch the supply that can be produced.”
Retailers, meanwhile, report that they are doing their holiday item buying extra early this year. Raley’s, a grocery chain based in California, reports it’s having as little as 70% of its orders filled.