(OPINION) The supply chain crisis that our supermarkets are facing is far worse than the mainstream media has been telling us. The mainstream media keeps trying to put a happy face on the “temporary” shortages, but an industry insider has let me know what is really going on behind the scenes.
This particular insider runs a grocery store in Maine, and he says that things are as bad as he has ever seen. In fact, he says that he has “never seen anything close to what is happening now”. The email that he sent me the other day greatly alarmed me, and I asked him if I could share it with all of you.
He gave me permission to do so, as long as I didn’t use his name. I haven’t received an email this startling in a long time. As you read this email, I think that you will quickly understand why I am saying that… I’m self-employed for 25 years, now, independent IGA affiliated grocery store in coastal Maine.
Supply issues are real! My supplier has limited us on orders for about a month now (limited the physical number of cases we can order) Their issue is/was mainly the help crisis in their warehouse … order pickers and truck drivers. Same story everywhere, I know.
Many of the items your reader commented about in this article are the same here … very limited Gatorade, and gallon water is sketchy at best. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. I’ve not seen many supply issues in produce, rather poor quality issues there. Much more than normal.
Deli/bakery… yes, lots of out of stocks and “long term unavailable” as my supplier likes to word it on the invoice. In the center store – dry grocery … like others are saying, tons of out of stocks. Meat supply is “fair” but pricing is extremely high. Shockingly high to me.
The middle class is slowly being destroyed with these prices hikes … death by 1000 cuts of sorts, I guess. My Frito Lay delivery person tells me that he is getting 55-60% of what he’s ordering. My last Nabisco order had 30% out of stocks. Over the years, we always get 99-100% of what was ordered.
Pepperidge Farm Cookies … he tells me some weeks he’s only getting HALF of what he orders. These folks all work on commission …. if they don’t (or can’t) sell it to me … they don’t get paid. Or get paid less. When we place our liquor order (twice a week) out of stocks there are running 30% of most orders. This commodity was ALWAYS 99.5 to 100% fill rate over the years …. always. It’s frustrating.
As I said … self-employed 25 years, and worked for Kroger for 25 years before that … so 50-51 years in this business. Never seen anything close to what is happening now. Add to that — a far-left governor and both houses here in Maine democrat controlled …. I just know we are on the verge of another mask mandate, and a lockdown of sorts would not surprise me again as we move into the colder months.
As you’ve seen I’m sure, Maine is in the news with COVID case surges (so they say)I come to work every day just holding my breath for what is next … for our business and the 35 people I employ here in Maine. This industry insider is trying to order normal quantities, but his suppliers are often unable to completely fulfill them.
As you can see from the email, the shortages are widespread, and this is the worst that they have been during the entire pandemic so far. If there is something that you need to stock up on, I would grab it if it is still on the shelves, because pretty soon it may be completely gone.
On Friday I went to the grocery store and they were out of several things that I wanted to purchase. Unfortunately, we continue to get more confirmations that this is going to become the “new normal”.
For example, according to Bloomberg meat reserves in this country have plunged to dangerously low levels… A U.S. report Wednesday showed beef reserves down 7.7% from a year ago in August. Poultry supplies slumped 20% and pork bellies, which are sliced into bacon, dropped 44% to the lowest levels since 2017. CONTINUE