What was Learned About America’s Urge to Hoard
Melbourne, Fla.—Here we go again, here comes the holiday season and a surge of coronavirus is generating panic buying among consumers across the U.S. Hopefully our entire supply chain system has learned the lessons from the past and this time high demand items like paper towel, disinfecting wipes, baking mixes and wine will not fall short, at least not for long.
According to NBC, Kroger, Publix, and H-E-B have all limited purchases of staples like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and paper towels to ensure more people get what they need. But chains are also looking ahead to see which products might be affected by the supply chain and increased demand, with breakfast foods and Thanksgiving sides topping the list.
While in March and April there was hoarding of inexpensive pantry items such as dried beans, flour, yeast, pasta and rice, the prediction is that retailers might see shortages of more upscale indulgences and ready-to-eat foods. Also, in that previous experience, grocery chains were too slow to place limits on high-demand products early on, and are trying to prevent hoarding so there isn’t another round of shortages. Retailers and manufacturers are less panicked about widespread shortages now that they’ve spent months simplifying their supply chains, adding more resources, shelves and workers to fulfillment centers, while also taking additional measures to counter panic-buying.
An important fact is that agricultural sectors report strong supply— much of the food that had been slated for food service before the pandemic has been repackaged or resized for retail consumers. Despite significant disruption due to covid outbreaks in meat-processing facilities, total red meat and poultry production has been increasing and, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is expected to continue to increase for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.
Drugs shortages, however, remain an ongoing public health concern in the U.S. With increases in new shortages, patient care and pharmacy operations are severely impacted by COVID-19 according to a November 2020 Council on Science and Public Health report from the American Medical Association Special Meeting.
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HECTOR PEREZ PRODUCER Hector is a licensed insurance agent with vast experience as a Transportation Specialist. Bilingual: English | Spanish