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10% of Packaged Foods, Household Goods Out of Stock

American consumers should expect to see ongoing shortages of high-demand items like flour, canned soup, rice, pasta, and cleaning supplies throughout the summer, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Up to 10% of packaged foods, beverages, and household goods were out of stock as of July 5th due to slowed production and increased consumer demand spurred by COVID-19.

Major food makers like Campbell Soup, Conagra, McCormick, and General Mills have reported difficulties replenishing inventories as the increased demand for shelf-stable food continues.

“We are running flat out,” says Sean Connolly, CEO of Conagra Brands.

Campbell is facing the same problem after having run through its reserves of several popular items in the spring. “We’re racing to try to rebuild some inventory,” says Campbell CEO Mark Clouse.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in states like Texas and Florida, retailers have once again been forced to put restrictions on items like toilet paper and milk to prevent consumers from hoarding.

Flour faces particular challenges, as the unexpected surge in home baking hits an industry that has been slowing down for years.

Flour sales in March were 233% higher than the same time last year.

“The orders are still there even though we are producing double to triple the normal volume,” says Bill Tine, head of marketing at King Arthur Flour Company.

King Arthur has started work at a new facility in Kansas and is increasing labor at the mills that make its flour to meet consumer demand. Farmer Direct Foods Inc., a supplier for King Arthur, is filling 35 trucks a month with flour up from the typical 18.

“There is enough wheat. There are a lot of mills,” says Tine. “The packing lines at the mills are the limiting factor.”

Editor’s note: Since there was not a real shortage of these items, and a shortage was not anticipated, this shows how much psychology plays in an economy, indeed perception becomes reality. And as this article shows, the psychology is persistent.

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  1. Eli

    This is, also, the psychology of the all inclusive covid numbers to panic America into shutdowns, in communities, that didn’t have any virus. In the past, we shut down for a week or two, if schools or a business had reduced numbers of attendance. California governor, Newsom, Pelosi’s former nephew in law shut down many things except his business. N.Y. governor Cuomo wants to shut down large gatherings and churches, except the Marxists BLM, because that’s their focus, regardless of the destruction and economic crisis. Then they want to plead for help of government funding, like Omar, who promoted radicals for many months. Best to stop the Marxist rebels and anarchy, and let Americans, who are ready and able get on with their lives in this battlefield. It will only continue as long as we submit to it. Casualties will always be there as in any battle, since they include all deceased addicts, smokers, vapors, etc, so medical facilities can be paid for their patients.

  2. Beverly

    The United States needs to get right on this. I still, after a few months, wonder if it is really the COVID-19, OR IS IT THE DEEP STATE–the people THAT ARE BEING PAID BY THE DNC that are out beating people up, burning buildings and cars, shooting people–or the THUGS, that have been paid to go in the stores and buy up all of the toilet paper and paper products, Vitamin C, all soups, or anything you would want and need if you were ill. I would not put anything past these Thug people (men and woman). The people are not buying out their community stores, especially people without jobs now–who do you think is buying up all of this stuff–could it be the THUGS???

    THIS HAS ALL GONE WAAAAAAAY TOOOOOO FAR FOR THE UNITED STATES. I want someone to come in an swoop down on these jerking thugs, put them away–make them take classes in history, respect, etc.–if they cannot pass these classes, they can stay in jail until they learn, and until they learn how to act around decent people, BECAUSE THEY, IN NO WAY, ARE DECENT. THEY ARE SPOILED BRATS WITH ALMOST NO EDUCATION, EVEN IF THEY “THINK” THEY GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE. LET THE PEOPLE IN THE UNITED PUT A STOP TO ALL OF THIS!!! RIGHT NOW.

    I read something today about groups in Utah, and there are thousands of them and they are organized, and they are ready for the THUGS. All cities and states are going to have to do this.

    Heard about one small town of about 2,800 people where these jerking thugs went to pillage, and there were 700 Plus men with pistols, rifles and baseball bats. That took care of the stinking, jerking little thugs!!!

    We will have to fight it ourselves, or the thugs will take over!!!