How The Baby Formula Shortage Has Gotten Worse

Everyday Health

America has been struggling to feed their babies, and it’s all due to the baby formula shortages that have been ongoing all over the country. A new report shares that the shortage is partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the formula recall of Abbott Nutrition. They removed a number of major formula brands from the shelves of tons of grocery stores due to the tainted goods, closing down a huge factory in Michigan. Some of the brands produced include Similac, EleCare, and Alimentum.

Sadly for parents in at least 26 states, they’ve been running from one store to another all in the hopes of finding the food they need to feed their little babies. A report published in Datasembly last April 14 shared that ‘baby formula was out of stock 31 percent of the time as of April, up from 23 percent of the time in January. During the first half of 2021, the ‘out-of-stock rate for formula was much lower, fluctuating between 2 percent and 8 percent.’

Founder and chief executive of Datasembly, Ben Reich, said in the report, “Inflation, supply-chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula.”

He added, “We expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions. Baby formula stock has been one of the more affected categories so far in 2022, and one that will continue to demonstrate higher than average out-of-stock levels.”

In early April, there were seven states that reported their out-of-stock rates were over 40 percent, including Delaware, New Jersey, Texas, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana, and Washington. During this same time, there were another 20 states that also had baby formula out-of-stock rates that were between 30 and 40 percent as well. Some communities more than others have been hit even harder by these milk formula shortages.

Moreover, twelve major metro areas also had out-of-stock rates over 40 percent, including Charlotte, Hartford and New Haven, Baltimore, Seattle, Des Moines, New Orleans and Mobile, Houston, Oahu, Nashville, Greenville, Minneapolis, and San Antonio. Meanwhile, three major metro areas, San Antonio, Minneapolis, and Des Moines, had out-of-stock rates over 50 percent in early April. Thankfully these shortages did not spur on raised formula prices.

The report also shared that in January 2022, the average price was around $23.47, when the out-of-stock rate for all baby formula products was at 3.3 percent. Despite the rise of the out-of-stock rate over the course of the year, the prices have managed to stay the same, sitting between $24 to $26 per can.

In response to the shortages, a number of major retailers are limiting baby formula purchases, while many brands are also out of stock online as well. As a result, there has been more parents searching through the breast-milk banks as a solution, but the hope is to have the stores restocked with formula as soon as possible.