A baby formula display shelf is seen at a Walmart food market in Orlando. Stores across the USA have struggled to stock enough baby formula, causing some chains to limit customer purchases.
Paul Hennessy | Lightrocket | Getty Images
There appears to be no end in sight to America’s baby formula shortage, in response to probably the most recent data from a retail tracking group.
The share of baby formula out of stock across the U.S. hit 40 percent on April 24, in response to Datasembly. That is up from 29 percent in March.
“Unfortunately, we do not see this slowing down any time soon,” Datasembly CEO Ben Reich said in an announcement Monday. “Inflation, supply chain shortages and product recalls have continued to bring volatility to the category, and continues to be one of the crucial affected products out there.”
The shortages were prompted partly by the shutdown of a key production facility in Michigan this 12 months. The plant, owned by Abbott Nutrition, has been the topic of an FDA and CDC investigation following reports of contaminated formula that was linked to the deaths of not less than two infants.
Formula shortages are especially dangerous, Brian Dittmeier, senior director of public policy on the National WIC Association, an advocacy group for girls, infants and kids, said in an announcement.
“Unlike other food recalls, shortages within the infant formula supply affects a significant — and even exclusive — source of nutrition for babies,” he said. “Inadequate nutrition could have long-term health implications for babies.”
The states seeing the worst shortages include Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota — all with out-of-stock rates of about 50 percent. A complete of 26 states have out of stock rates of 40 to 50 percent.
Amongst metro areas, San Antonio’s out-of-stock rate has climbed to 57 percent, with Memphis and Nashville at 52 percent and Houston and Des Moines at 50 percent.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is asking on the FDA and the Biden Administration to take motion.
An Abbott spokesperson didn’t reply to a request for comment. The corporate doesn’t appear to have publicly updated its website regarding the investigation since April 15.
A representative for CVS confirmed its stores are currently limiting customers to 3 baby formula products per purchase. A Goal representative said it currently had some online ordering limitations in place, but not at in-person stores.
Representatives for Amazon, Publix, Walmart and Walgreens didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.