People have been stocking up over the past few weeks, so shoppers face many empty store shelves. While the demand for staples, pantry goods and cleaning products has increased, supply has lagged.
If you can’t find everything on your list at your local store, that could change soon — and may already have started to change. Some major manufacturers are ramping up production of many food staples, cleaning products and household goods to keep up with demand.
Following is a look at the items you should be seeing more of at grocery stores.
Increased demand for meat products — including beef, chicken and pork — has resulted in barren meat cases at many grocery stores. As more people stay at home and fewer eat out, demand has shifted from the restaurant industry to grocers.
But according to a Reuters report, manufacturers like Tyson Foods (TSN) have shifted gears to increase meat production for retail stores, so expect to see meat cases filling up again.
One of the best tools in fighting the spread of germs is to clean commonly touched surfaces with disinfectants including bleach, as we detail in “5 Household Cleaners That Can Kill the Coronavirus.”
So, as the novel coronavirus spreads across the country, products from Clorox Co. (CLX), including disinfecting wipes and sprays, have been flying off store shelves. To meet the increase in demand, the Clorox plant in Clayton County, Georgia, has stepped up production, with employees working around the clock to keep up, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports.
If you have pets, you’ll be happy to know that manufacturers are ramping up production to keep up with an increase in demand. Geoff Tanner, chief marketing and commercial officer at The J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM), says in a report by the publication Pet Food Processing:
“Our pet food and pet snacks manufacturing facilities are running at or near full production capacity. We have added all available production days and continue to optimize our production mix to support the highest turn/volume items.”
Smucker’s manufactures popular pet brand products, including Natural Balance, Nature’s Recipe, Rachel Ray Nutrish and Milk-Bone.
If you’re trying to stock up while also saving money as the economy continues to struggle, check out “8 Tips for Slashing Your Pet Food Bill.”
Consumers following advice to fight the coronavirus by keeping their hands clean and disinfected are stocking up on hand sanitizer. As those products flew off the shelves, some people even found ways to make their own hand sanitizer. Today reported in early March that hand sanitizer sales had increased more than 300% in one week alone, leading major retailers to set limits for shoppers.
But help is on the way. Gojo Industries (GOJO), the parent company of Purell, told NBC News it has “dramatically increased production since the beginning of the year.”
Sales of shelf-stable foods like canned soup surged as a growing number of states issued stay-at-home orders and more people began to voluntarily shelter in place.
Mark Clouse, CEO of Campbell Soup Co. (CPB), told CNBC in March that the company has increased soup production to meet the demand.
Toilet paper sales far exceeded the supply as people facing possibly weeks at home rushed to stores to stock up. Soon none could be found on store shelves anywhere.
According to a recent CNBC report, Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB), one of the country’s largest toilet paper producers, has ramped up production to meet the increase in demand. The company manufactures big brands like Scott and Cottonelle.
Canned fruits and vegetables
Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP), which manufactures canned fruits and vegetables, also has seen an uptick in demand for its shelf-stable products. The company told Wisconsin Public Radio in March that it has increased production to provide faster access to its products for consumers.
Running low on your favorite Nespresso coffee? Nestlé (NSRGY), the manufacturer of Nespresso and other food and drink brands, has ramped up production to meet an increase in demand, reports Food Dive. The company has added overtime hours and shifts in many of its 68 U.S. factories to ensure they are operating full time.
Nestle has also ramped up production of Hot Pockets, another product that has experienced a surge in demand as the coronavirus spread across the U.S.
“We continue to produce in this crisis,” Steve Presley, chairman and CEO of Nestle USA, tells Food Dive.
Freeze-dried food manufacturer OFD Foods saw more than a 200% increase in transactions on its Mountain House products website during one week in February. The company, formerly known as Oregon Freeze Dry, temporarily stopped taking new orders on the site.
Fortunately, OFD Foods ramps up production about this time of year every year to prepare for backpacking season.
“We’re in this unique situation coming into this that we had more inventory than we normally would because we’re right in the middle of transitioning our packaging,” Bruce Bechtel, director of marketing for OFD Foods, told Outside in late February.
The company has prioritized helping its retail partners restock, though. So, if you happen to need freeze-dried food for an upcoming backpacking trip, Bechtel suggests looking for it at Walmart, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods or other outdoor retailers.