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10 Hard-to-Find Grocery Items, Including Tomatoes and Popcorn

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The US is experiencing a variety of grocery item shortages this year, including products like baby formulaSriracha sauce and tampons, all of which have been hard to find for the past few months. Expected to join the growing list are tomatoes, which could affect popular food items like pizza sauce, salsa and ketchup. And this fall, Hershey candy could be harder to find.

A variety of problems are causing these shortages, from the supply chain issues caused by the pandemic to the ongoing war in Ukraine. There’s also the drought and high temperatures many countries are facing due to climate change. Right now, it’s unclear when the supply for these items will bulk back up.

These products are harder to find, and if you do find them, you’ll notice the prices have increased thanks to shortages and inflation. Tampon prices, for example, have risen by nearly 10% in 2022.

Keep reading to see what shortages US supermarkets are facing today. For more on combating shortages, check out how shrinkflation affects your favorite supermarket items. Also, store-brand foods may be cheaper (here’s exactly how much cheaper), but do they taste better?

Items facing shortages this year

Tomatoes: California’s severe drought is causing a lower supply of tomatoes this year. In return, tomato-based products like salsa and ketchup could become even more expensive or harder to find in the weeks to come. 

Baby formula: Abbott Nutrition has faced several issues this year, leading to a low supply of baby formula across the country. The company recalled several batches in February and ceased production in the factory after babies fell ill with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella. 

In June, the plant had to close its facility due to a massive flood, though it reopened in July.

Sriracha sauce: Huy Fong Foods, famous for its Sriracha sauce, is halting production of the beloved sauce until the fall due to a shortage of chili peppers. The company usually gets its peppers from Mexico, which is experiencing a drought.

Read more: 10 Excellent Sriracha Alternatives

Tampons: Procter & Gamble said in April sourcing and transportation of the materials needed to make tampons have been “costly and highly volatile,” making it harder to find tampons on the shelf. The company says it’s a temporary situation and is working to increase supply.

Popcorn: Movie theater goers, beware! There’s a popcorn shortage looming that could affect your movie watching experience due to supply chain issues. Farmers are also expected to plant less corn this year and instead plant more soybeans.

Wheat products: Due to the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine, as well as the drought, the wheat supply is looking thin. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter. This may affect some staple grocery items like bread, which has already seen an increase in price.

Pet food: You may have a hard time finding food for your furry best friend soon. There’s a shortage of canned wet dog and cat food across the country due to supply chain issues, and it’s not expected to go away any time soon. 

Mustard: While there’s no current mustard shortage in the US, experts worry one could hit soon, USA Today reported. Europe is experiencing a shortage of the popular condiment due to climate change and the war in Ukraine.  

Peaches: A freeze that hit the Southeast in late March delayed this year’s peach season. At the same time, an unseasonably warm winter followed by two brutal cold snaps decimated peach crops in the Northeast.

Hershey candy: Supply chain issues have hurt the cocoa supply, and Hershey expects the production to fall short of demand during the Halloween and Christmas seasons.

We’ll keep this story updated as we hear about more shortages. For more, check out whether buying groceries online is cheaper than buying in-store. Also, here’s the price of meal kits versus buying the groceries yourself.


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