Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A trip to the city

I went into the city this week. It was the first time in several months I'd gone further than our local stores. My friend in Maine asked me to keep her abreast of what I saw. "Let me know how well stocked your big city stores are," she wrote. "Our stores are looking really sad."

Rather to my surprise, things were fairly well stocked everywhere I went. I had my camera and was prepared to take pix of all the bare shelves, but hardly saw any. Granted I didn't go through every aisle of every store, but nonetheless things seemed decent. 

My city shopping trips entail three major stops: Winco, Costco, and Chef's Store (a restaurant supply store). I was limited to one bundle of toilet paper at Costco, but I already knew that going in.

At Winco, as I was counting out exact change for my groceries, the cashier was grateful for the coins I gave her. She said they get a limited number of coins delivered each day and that's it, so they're always running low. I asked about other supply-chain issues, and she confirmed they're having trouble ordering lots of their regular stock and are having to get creative with substitutes. Still, all the shelves looked full.

I did notice that the First Street brand of cheese I normally get at Chef's Store was not available. Instead, it was an off-brand I'd never heard of. Still, there was plenty of it, and it tastes fine.

Also at Chef's Store, a sign on the produce cooler door put a limit on some items (this was mostly directed at restaurants, which buy large quantities of stuff).

The exception to these well-stocked shelves was fresh veggies. My plan was to get 10 bags of broccoli and dehydrate most of it, but all I could find at Chef's Store was four bags. I bought all four of them.

Then at Costco, the produce section was conspicuously empty. It was quite a sight to see the room so bare. I'm glad I got those four bags of broccoli since Costco didn't have any at all.

I also indulged in some late birthday presents for Don: a new pair of headphones (his are shot), and some warm winter gloves.

I know shortages are getting worse. I felt like saluting every trucker I saw, knowing how critical they are to the supply chain. According to Breitbart, "Data from a supply tracking company shows that 18 percent of beverages, 15 percent of frozen foods, 16 percent of snacks, 15 percent of candy and 18 percent of bakery items were out of stock at stores during the week ending on October 3, according to IRI."

That's why I was so pleased to find almost everything on my list.

14 comments:

  1. I had a run to the local grocery stores this week. Most things were there, but the shelves were much less full.

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  2. I started thanking people for working for a living. I usually get an odd look at first then a smile and thank you in return.

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  3. Here in South Dakota it doesn't seem to be effecting us much as yet, but who knows. Are shelves are full at non Walmart stores and small local stores. Very romantique of you Miss Patrice, head phones and warm gloves for birthday. I am sure Mr Don will be very appreciative.

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  4. Here in Hampton Roads we are not seeing any shortages yet.

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  5. Here in north Mississippi the store shelves still look relatively normal, just that prices are higher. I shop for myself, and have been buying more than usual lately and stocking up anyway.

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  6. Western N.C. Our non Walmart (haven't been to the big W in a while) stores are doing what every good retail store does....they draw inventory to the front of the shelf so that it looks full. I have found that if I needed multiples of something that there is usually a big void behind the front couple of rows.

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  7. In SW FL have noticed some reduced availability of foods. Frozen broccoli & cauliflower are always in short supply. Seems to go in and out, but beef and chicken have been in short supply with prices about 10-15% higher.
    Read this morning on Fooddive.com that OG soybeans have a record high price. Conventional soybeans have a 25% price hike.Think of all the things made with soy. Chicken feed, which is 65% of the cost of raisinga bird,will rise 40% by the end of the year. Oats had the smallest harvest in US history. Corn, highest price rise, per bushel, in 8 years. Durum wheat had a 90% price hike plus reduced harvest. This potential shortage and price may threaten the supply of pasta.
    We need to pay attention to the cost of food from the field, not just on the shelf. If the manufacturer can't get, say corn, at a good price, we will pay the price at the register.
    Remember that several companies have already said prices will increase: Nestle, General Mills, Kimberly Clark,Unilever, Danone (Silk, Oikos, Evian, etc) and Mondelez Inter. (Cadbury, Oreo, Ritz, Wheat Thins, etc).

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  8. Haven't visited Walmart in a while, but our other grocers are doing what a good retail store does - pulling stock to the front of the shelf. I have noticed that when I want a multiple of something that there is often a BIG void behind the first couple of rows of product.

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  9. Here in Alabama, I generally find things well stocked, but produce sections are looking shabby. The biggest surprise has been that local Walmart stores are very well stocked with canning supplies. There are even lids at fair prices, but the lids aren't in abundant supply like jars are.

    Weather here is changing this weekend to cooler, and it's time to crank up the best cool weather electric heater ever...a big ol Excalibur dehydrator. It's working two ways while it's on. Not massive heat output, but enough warmth while it's on in cooler weather to be enough heat for me and my occasional hot flashes.

    We have so many power outages here my new plan is to pack the freezer with dehydrated foods where they last the best. There is a lesser known company that sells dehydrated stuff in bulk for a fair price, which I expect to go up soon. It's not packaged well for storage so that's on the purchaser, but shipping is not much at all. I can vouch for the green beans and the mushrooms as excellent, and am planning on trying some spinach and cabbage soon. I love that dehydrated foods are preprepared and ready to use. Check out Harmony House. If I could afford it I would buy a lot more all at once from them instead of this constant search for veggies in stores. Bugs, neverending rain storms, and chipmonks destroyed all warm weather gardening efforts this year. Just more reason to find good backup stuff.

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  10. I've noticed, though well stocked, for now, some of the shelves are a bit sparse, and not loaded like normal, bread not showing up on time etc. Those empty shelves at Costco are an indication of what is coming unfortunately, and it will eventually hit everywhere. I live in wheat country, the harvest this year is 50% of what it was last year, at an average of 39 BPA, normal years it's 79 BPA, some greater, others not so great. But the Mid West is reporting a record soybean harvest so at least we got that going for us. The transporting, processing, and stocking is another story.

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  11. Being fairly close to you, our shelves at hellmart are also still with some, varying amount of goods. Lots of holes, many seeming to be perpetually out, and many that are rotating holes.

    Prices are going way up though, and what is in stock is frequently spread very thin, pulled to the front, or that section is shrunk quite a bit.

    Things are getting tight and hairy. Propane is in short supply, and the propane tank section of the farm supply store has shrunk as well. Did you know that Franz stopped making their single serving fold over pies usually found in the snack isle? Spossed to restart the line again, but still waiting, not holding my breath.

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  12. Here in NJ I am not seeing too many shortages. Walmart will have bare shelves in one section one week and the next week it will be filled. The supermarket where I do most of my shopping, Weis, is very well stocked. There was a problem with some milk products a few weeks ago, but that was about it.
    I work for a major retailer, (non grocery) and we are getting in more than usual. Like, way more. Our district manager told us the company foresees supply chain problems on the horizon and is trying to fill the stores and have plenty of extra to get through what they see as a lean time. Nice to see they are trying to get a head of this. -Chris in NJ

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  13. There seem to be rolling shortages at the Walmart I shop at in Nogales, AZ . This month there was not one can of DelMonte corn and very little of the other brands, Gatoraide has been missing from the shelves for months. We have been wanting to buy another freezer but the wait times are out 6-8 mo and I hate paying upfront for something that may or may not come in . We did find an off brand small 7cubic ft chest freezer and bought that at Walmart.

    The real problem we have encountered is that of Labor , have a lot of things around the house that need repair, Tile, cabinets , toilets replaced and a ceiling in the laundry room that needs replaced, all things my husband could have done in our younger days but now needs to be hired out. Home Depot has always claimed that they have contractors that can do the job for you if supplies are bought through them, alas, that is not the case, they never call you back .
    Dee

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  14. Must be our local Costco..Always looks like that on monday morning

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