Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,334
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

It depends on where you are and what day you shop.  In Michigan I have found that for meat and food products items have been restocked and most of the purchase limit restrictions have been lifted.  However, butter is cleared out.  Finding Chicken Breast has been hit or miss in some cases.  I have been to stores and there was plenty but other days there is none.  


When I went to my local SAM's on Thursday there were no paper products but people said that on Saturday they were available.  I was able to find Bleach and Paper Towel at another grocery store on Monday.  Thankfully I buy in bulk and purchased at the beginning of March so we are just getting to the point where we need some of these items.


My grocery shopping strategy has completely changed.  I have food in the freezer and try to come up with meal ideas for the week after asking the kids for ideas on what they would like.  I make a list and do the best that I can.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,736
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

I'm finding just the opposite. 


Over the last 8 weeks, I've gone to two different Aldi's, a Kroger, and Meijer, and the Dollar General in a couple of locations. 


Each was very full (although I will admit that about the time they 'closed' Ohio, some others I knew went to some stores and most shelves were bare for days), with only the usual suspects missing or very low. 


I have noticed that you have to be brand flexible, size flexible for some things in some places, expecting your normal brand to not be available. 


Not at all to be preachy, but anyone who 'wants what they want' (I'm like that for many things) I think we could be in a place where you have to get it, and stock it well as there are going to be shortages, interruptions, access issues for a whole host of reasons.


I think people are going to have to look outside their normal places as well. We pretty much can't find any kind of sanitizing stuff here (except bottles of bleach). We ended up in a town yesterday, that we had not been to to try and find things, and each store in that town that we hit on the way back home had disinfecting wipes, disinfecting spray, etc (limit one). that we haven't seen in way over a month in the bigger town we go to.


I'm not saying people should hoard supplies in short supply, but it really varies what is in short supply by location, even in the same city or county. And if you find something that wouldn't be considered 'necessary' or 'essential' like OP's desire for Hunt's tomato products, buy plenty because while it isn't short here (I saw shelves full in the one store we hit yesterday), it might be where you want to be finding it not only now, but later.


Our odd missing product is name brand Fig Newtons. My mom asked for them, and every place I go for the last 6 weeks or so, I check, but there aren't any! LOL I know they are not essential, and probably not even popular any more, but pre Covid, I found them in our usual shopping place, but not now. It would just be nice to give her a little package of something she likes as a treat in this hot mess where she isn't even going to the store to get out and about right now.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 234
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

[ Edited ]

lol, no offense, but if everybody buy 6-8 varieties of meats every time they shop, people who work have no choice at 5 pm entering the stores. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,467
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked



All of the products you listed were available in my grocery store yesterday.

 I like Brummel & Brown and my store had plenty.
I found bleach last week at Target. 
I guess it depends on your area and shopping early.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,504
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

It’s been my experience recently that there is a lot of food but you have to be flexible on what brand you will buy. For example if you’re specifically looking for a certain brand of gluten-free, you might not find it.

Still hard to find: cleaning supplies, paper towels, pasta, rice. Plenty of meat, produce, frozen, bread, bakery, junk food, booze.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,150
Registered: ‎03-15-2014

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

I've found that some stores are doing a much better job than others.  However, even those "good" ones have weak spots here and there.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,237
Registered: ‎04-20-2013

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

@PilatesLover wrote:

I needed to brave the stores to purchase food yesterday.  I started with Costco because they're usually pretty well stocked.


I ended up turning my carriage around and walking out!  I drove to our regular town supermarket and the shelves were alarmingly bare.  The items on my list that were non-existent included:


  • Gluten free frozen bread (Udi's, Glutino, etc.)
  • Annie's gluten free mac and cheese
  • Mission tortilla wraps - or any tortilla wrap for that matter
  • Hunt's tomato products except for paste
  • Pretty much all canned tomato products except for fire roasted flavor
  • Gluten free pasta 
  • Shredded cheese - all brands wiped out except for two giant sized store brand bags
  • Salsa - all brands, wiped out
  • Plain yogurt, any brand, in fact most flavored yogurts gone
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes that weren't half rotten and mangled
  • Dishwashing liquid - only a few bottles of store brand

Many shortages in health and beauty, very little butter (none unsalted), very little margarine and my Brummel & Brown gone, etc., etc., etc.  And of course no paper products or sanitizing products at all - not even bleach.


There is another discussion about meat processing plants, but now it seems everything is running out.  It is scary out there. Smiley Sad

@PilatesLover - the problem is that shoppers create the shortages.  Tyson & Smithfield closings will create hoarding of meat and you can bet on that in my area.  But there is no shortage of meat if people buy responsibly and think of others.  Chicken has been a problem in my area but i managed to snag 4 breasts last week.  Toilet paper, you have to get there early.  Paper towels are tough here.  I shop senior hours at Acme 7 am, then, go to a smaller grocery store that opens at 8 and manage to get TP, onward to Lowe's and get Lysol spray.  I head over to the Japanese market by 8:30 and get ramen noodles & a few other items.   It's time consuming but not much else to do.   I think if people stopped hoarding there wouldn't be such shortages. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,484
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

@geezerette wrote:

Some of it depends on where you live.  


And some of it depends on what you're trying to buy.  I was talking to a guy that works for a vendor for a major snack food manufacturer.  He said they (the vendor) were working 24/7 shifts, but had had to retool their plant because the snack food manufacturer was only producing their best selling brands.  


So it's quite possible that certain items you're looking for just aren't being made right now.

Yes, my husband was told something similar by the "bread guy" at our nearby supermarket -- they are only making the top half dozen or so varieties right now.


In general, I would say that our stores are currently better stocked than they were a few weeks back.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 60,217
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

It's disheartening because it's so inconsistent, by day, time, store location and geographic region and it's been going on for so long. Moreover, seemingly no one is taking any initiative to coordinate supply and distribution, so that areas 'without' don't stay 'without' for the duration. In my area, pick up and delivery services have also become more or less unreliable. We're told to stay in as much as possible, but we have to drive all over creation to find food and essentials and other than scheduling a pick up or delivery for at least two to three weeks out, forget about it. Something's got to give...

In my pantry with my cupcakes...
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,457
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Grocery shelves not being restocked

I think you have to shop early and you need to get lucky.


The OP's shopping list is very specific and includes several low-demand items, at least in my area, where organic and gluten-free products are fully stocked. They don't move like the mainstream versions because they're ridiculously expensive.


When I shop, I shop to survive. If buying extra spares me a visit to the store the following week, that's good for me and good for others. I won't countenance shaming and "think of others" because it doesn't work unless everyone does it. I don't hoard, but I'm not shortchanging my welfare because some anonymous person opines that I should on behalf of other anonymous people. Far better to have stores simply limit purchases in key categories. That's fair to all.


If your stores aren't putting limits on purchases of paper towels, TP, bleach, flour, and other universally scarce items, as well as meats, eggs, dairy, bread, etc. as needed, then ask them to do so. If you'd be aided by a senior hour but your store hasn't established one, ask the manager to do so. But don't hesitate to take the last of a desirable item you need or will need because of "someone else." That person probably took the last bag of AP flour.