By Samantha Biggers
Over the past few months, my husband and I have kept an eye on the store shelves in our area. We don’t shop daily or even weekly, but the trend of increasingly bare shelves has been incredibly disturbing. This made me curious as to what others have been experiencing. As a member of various online prepping communities, I see a lot of conversations and concerns, but one thing that has stood out to me is the amazing number of people chiming in to report sparse or bare shelves or just not being able to find a specific item they like.
We visited many different stores.
Over several months we visited various regional and national grocery stores, drug stores, and dollar store chains.
You may be able to guess where these pictures come from but I am not going to mention store names because I fear that by doing so I will contribute to a damaged reputation for these stores. I don’t want to affect the financial well being of the hardworking families that rely on their employment with these stores.
The main grocery warehouse for a major regional chain is quite close, and they are a well-capitalized company with no significant financial difficulties, but even they seemed to have problems keeping some items on the shelf.
Here are the most commonly out of stock or in short supply items.
The pictures in this article were not taken during snowstorms. They were taken during a typical shopping day in the winter time in the USA. My husband and I wanted to make sure that snow was not making the results worse than they actually are. This research is intended to inform, not foster unwarranted fears.
Please excuse the blurry quality of some images, we were moving fast and also trying not to be too obvious when exploring stores.
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I found this above article interesting. I have noticed this as well with the usual excuses given by store employees. I noticed things like cheese missing. some for weeks. medium cheddar, mozzarella which are fairly common are hit and miss. sometimes they have it, sometimes they don’t.
Look at the shelves in the produce section. They have been reworked to make smaller bins that look like they are overflowing but in reality they took a large shelf that was nearly empty and shrunk it down. Filled it with what was left and made it look abundant. trick of the eye. They make the fresh produce department look open and lots of room easy to get around in. That is because they removed shelves and rows. They can’t fill them.
Some things are hard to find like good potatoes. not ones that green looking. Some fruits like apples that are either soft and squishy or look under ripe. Other fruit is obviously not ripe. Peaches as hard as a rock. Green Avocados the same way. you could beat them on the floor and not make a dent in them. Horseradish root non-existent. fresh green beans that are either rotten or not ripe. nothing edible.
Look at the aisles in the store. They are widened. Some aisles removed and others pushed out so they removed shelves and refilled them with what was left. it tricks you into thinking the shelves are full. when in reality they had a lot of empty shelves and they condensed them by widening the aisles. you can tell by looking at the floor. you can see a color difference when they push the shelves backwards and make them wider.
We shop mostly at a place like wild oats market. local foods. no gmo’s ect. The store tells us they are out of things and have a hard time stocking them because they are on a list and only certain stores get them. If there isn’t enough to go around then only the box stores get them and not the little grocery store like the one we use.
We make so many of our things that there are probably a lot more missing but we don’t notice because we don’t shop the main aisles. we stick to the outside aisles for the most part except for bags of flour, sugar, ect. Those though are getting smaller. I can’t find a big 25 pound bag of sugar very often. It is usually gone or possibly not stocked?
I do buy pepperoni as i have not yet perfected making it. that is gone 1/2 the time. The deli can’t keep it in stock. The pre-packaged stuff is only available in very small amounts. I like to buy a couple of pounds of it at a time and freeze it. I very rarely can find that much available anymore.
This article linked above is good information. just fyi. not to take anything for granted. Not even to being able to count on ”stocked” shelves. you may find them empty one day and wondering what happened! I guarantee the general public will know the answer to that question. They will never be told the truth. Don’t count on it. Count on yourself and your own skills.