Supermarket Shortages: 13 Items That May Be Harder to Find in the Grocery Store

A variety of grocery store staples are experiencing shortages this year, many as a result of pandemic-related supply chain issues and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Some are also fueled by ongoing droughts and higher temperatures caused by climate change.  If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you might have […]

A variety of grocery store staples are experiencing shortages this year, many as a result of pandemic-related supply chain issues and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Some are also fueled by ongoing droughts and higher temperatures caused by climate change

If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you might have noticed bare shelves where cat food, feminine hygiene products and even Halloween candy should be. Right now, it’s unclear when the supply of many of these items will bulk back up.

And, if you do find them, prices have increased: The cost of tampons, for example, has risen nearly 10% this year. 

Below, we’ve tallied a baker’s dozen of items facing higher prices and dwindling supplies. For more on shortages, learn how your favorite supermarket items may be hit by “shrinkflation” and how much cheaper generic store brands really are than premium brands.

1. Beer

Empty beer bottle

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Contamination at a reservoir in Mississippi has caused a carbon dioxide shortage that’s impacting brewers across the US, particularly craft breweries. Some are paying three to four times as much for carbonation, Axios reported, while others are working on plans to switch to nitrogen. 

2. Ketchup

Heinz Ketchup bottle

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A severe drought in California devastated the state’s tomato crop this year, meaning household staples like ketchup, salsa and tomato sauce could become even more expensive or harder to find. 

3. Baby formula


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Abbott Nutrition was forced to temporarily shutter a Sturgis, Michigan, plant manufacturing baby formula after several infants developed serious bacterial infections. The closure resulted in major baby formula shortages across the US. The factory reopened in June but had to close again due to a massive flood just a few weeks later.

4. Sriracha

Sriracha factory

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Huy Fong Foods paused production of its well-known Sriracha until the fall, citing a shortage of chili peppers. The company usually gets its peppers from Mexico, which is experiencing a drought.

Read more: 10 Excellent Sriracha Alternatives

5. Tampons

Tampax tampons

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Procter & Gamble said in April that sourcing and transportation for materials needed to make tampons have been “costly and highly volatile,” making it harder to find tampons on store shelves. The company says it’s working to increase supply.

6. Popcorn

Popcorn box

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Moviegoers, beware! There’s a popcorn shortage looming due to supply chain issues. Farmers are also expected to plant less corn this year because of drought and instead plant more soybeans.

7. Bread

Two slices of bread with nothing between them.

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Russia and Ukraine are the world’s largest wheat exporters, responsible for 30% of the global wheat supply. The ongoing invasion of Ukraine threatens that supply and could affect staples like flour, pasta, pretzels and even bread, which has already seen an increase in price.

8. Pet food

Cat with can of cat food

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You might already be having a hard time finding vittles for your furry friend, as supply chain issues have led to a shortage of canned wet dog and cat food across the country that’s not expected to go away any time soon. 

9. Turkey

Butterball turkey

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Supply chain issues, coupled with a bird flu epidemic that resulted in more than 5 million turkeys being killed, could mean a birdless Thanksgiving for some families. Experts predict a shortage over the holidays or at least higher prices for those holiday birds. 

10. Mustard

jars of Grey Poupon mustard

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Climate change and the crisis in Ukraine have caused Europe to experience a shortage of the popular condiment that could eventually reach the US, USA Today reported

11. Peaches

Peaches

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A freeze that hit the southeastern US in late March delayed this year’s peach season, while an unseasonably warm winter followed by two brutal cold snaps decimated peach crops in the Northeast. 

12. Halloween candy

Halloween candy in a jack o'lantern

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Back in July, Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck warned that the company “will not be able to fully meet consumer demand” for Halloween candy, according to CNN.

While cocoa and milk supplies have been affected by supply-chain issues, the real culprit is a big spike in demand: Hershey’s saw a double-digit sales increase between 2021 and 2022 and had to prioritize manufacturing its regular products over Halloween and Christmas sweets.

“We had a strategy of prioritizing everyday on-shelf availability,” Buck said, CNN reported. “It was a tough decision.”

13. Champagne

Champagne bottles

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The US is at the start of a Champagne shortage that could last several years, Wine Enthusiast reported in December.

When the pandemic hit, the usual suspect — supply chain issues — left importers high and dry. Then the demand for bubbly fluctuated wildly: At first weddings and other celebrations were canceled, but then “consumers began to invest more heavily in luxury ingredients and high-end wines to enjoy at home, in lieu of dining out at restaurants,” export manager Laurance Alamanos told the magazine.

Champagne may be aged for years before it’s bottled, so decisions to slow or stop production during the pandemic may not be felt for some time. 

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