Supply Chain Woes Hit Baby Formula

Feb. 9, 2022
Add baby formula to the list of products that are becoming hard to get due to supply chain shortages.

Add baby formula to the list of products that are becoming hard to get due to supply chain shortages.

CNN reports that retailers’ inventories of baby formula are down 17% from February 2020, just before the pandemic fully hit the U.S., according to statistics from IRI. Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Enfamil, says it is shipping 30% more product to meet demand; Abbott told CNN that it is running its production lines for Similac 24/7.

The problem is similar to those behind shortages of all kinds of consumer products: increased demand combined with supply chain shortages. Shortages of baby formula can be especially stressful for consumers because often substitutes aren’t readily available, or suitable.

CNN quoted a mother of premature twins who need a special hypoallergenic formula, which she has been spending hours every day trying to find. She says that her breast milk production is inadequate to feed them – and that the stress of the formula situation isn’t helping in that regard.

"It's very frustrating and scary," she said. "I've been searching for it in towns three hours away from where I live. Why can't I just go into a store and be able to buy formula?"

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