KANSAS (KSNT) — A year and a half after shoppers were panic buying at supermarkets across the country, grocery stores are still battling to get some items on the shelves.
Local grocers said most necessities are stocked but disruptions in the supply chain continue to plague them.
“Last year, COVID shut down the manufacturing companies. Shut down their companies to keep their employees safe,” said Steve Morrison, manager of Leeker’s Family Foods.
Then, the panic buying started. “So basically since a lot of products were not made, the American consumer basically depleted our nationwide inventory, and that’s why we still can’t get it,” he continued.
But how many products are actually not on the shelves?
“We have three deliveries, we order three times a week. We are still probably averaging two or 300 items, each time we order that we cannot get,” he added.
Kriss Hernández is the manager of the newly opened El Mercado Fresco supermarket. She said labor shortages are just one challenge for the business.
“It’s hard to get it right now. That Roma tomato and limes because it’s too much raining in Mexico. It’s not only here for everywhere,” commented Hernández.
Specialty items can be especially hard to come by. “Lot of companies are still just manufacturing the main selling products in their line,” claimed Morrison.
After 31 years in the business, he has never seen anything like this.
“It’s better, but there are still some holes if you walk down the aisles,” he concluded.