A woman shows shock when pointing to empty grocery store shelves.

Empty Grocery Store Shelves – Prepare Now For Surging Food Costs

Empty Grocery Store Shelves: What You Need to Know

There were a lot of empty grocery store shelves as the world descended into lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in late March and April 2020. This probably won’t come as a surprise, if you’ve ventured into any grocery store in the past two months and looked at the empty shelves of beans, soup, and other canned goods. For a while, canned foods stocks were a great place to invest to sell higher later.

As the world returns to normal though, and the huge bill has to be paid, those that can should (even if only mentally) prepare for surging food costs as food companies will be hit by the reduction of food sales which is inevitable We say inevitable because we will all have less money to spend.

A woman shows shock when pointing to empty grocery store shelves.

Soup Runs Short on the Racks of Many Supermarkets

Empty supermarket shelves at start of coronavirus lockdown.

Soup was one of many foods in short supply, with many supermarket shelves empty in 2020 at the start of the global lockdown.

Availability of many food staples remained spotty from mid-march 2020 to the end of April around the many countries globally, some shelves remained stocked and while others were completely empty. Americans had particular difficulty locating all-purpose commodities such as flour, yeast, and beef.

Industry commentators said that measures to allow shop workers as much protection from COIVID-19 as possible, in combination with the absence of staff to the illness, and staff not at work who were self-isolating, were causing delays.

Inevitably at the start of a pandemic, there are always likely to be special measures needed. All these tended to introduce delays and complications in getting food to its final destination. And in theory, there will be fewer new products on the market this year as a result.

But, by late May finally, both in grocery stores and in the food distribution system, significant new efforts which were being undertaken to raise food output and delivery, while still protecting workers from the virus, had the desired effect.

Ananth Lyer, a department head at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, said Americans were in a cycle of hoarding.

Not only are people buying more food at the grocery store to eat at home, but they’re also seeing reports of price hikes and import restrictions. Those were worrying enough but this was expected to be combined with stricter stay-at-home orders. Is there any possibility that people would not start panic buying in such circumstances! Of course, the sight of empty shelves in the grocery store of America was just another factor driving consumers to stock up even more.

Pictures of empty grocery store shelves

The presence of those very obvious stock shortfalls led to alarming photos of empty grocery shelves, which when posted online and in News Bulletins sent the cycle of frenzied buying into an even faster spin. A spin which only stopped when the shelves were bare!

Take a look at our pictures of empty grocery store shelves, as you read his article.

Seeing empty grocery store shelves? Here’s why.

In North Carolina and across the country, it is becoming a familiar sight. Empty grocery store shelves, as people stock up to self-isolate amid the coronavirus outbreak. “this is something that frankly we’ve never seen before,” said Greg Ferrara, the president and CEO of the national grocers association. He says stores are facing an “unprecedented demand”.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, the demand for items such as grocery-size products and on-demand delivery, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown was even greater than what is, in fact, an abundant supply.

Empty grocery shelves
CC BY by Aleksi Pihkanen

However, the food industry rose to the challenge and food shelves didn't stay empty for long. There were daily deliveries to most grocery stores and the rate of supply was wound up by the producers. The producers were no doubt delighted for the additional sales. Now in early June, there is even an over-supply now of bulk, large-sized products and processed shipments to any canteens that remain open.

This demand-supply mismatch appears to mimic anecdotal evidence of price spikes and empty store shelves on the consumer side and the collapse of demand and dumping of food on the farm side, with a range of linked effects in the middle.

Now as the coronavirus pandemic recedes and restaurants start to re-open the food industry will need to revert back to a pattern much more like before those days of panic buying.

Why the empty grocery store shelves the Analysis Starts!

So, we’re back to the question at hand. With all this food, why are our grocery store shelves empty?

The answer is the just-in-time inventory strategy. There is no food sitting around in warehouses to soak up variations in demand any longer. Just-in-time deliveries mean less food is wasted, and save us all money by helping to make food cheaper. It's not so good when the world starts a pandemic!

The good news is that the empty grocery shelves we were seeing during the COVID-19 crisis were not that way from any lack of food and other products. The short-term shortage was due to the current food distribution rate being inadequate to meet demand and an inventory that is focused on fulfilling supplies “just-in-time”.

It's a strategy that aims to produce, ship, and stock as few goods as possible to meet demand, but it came seriously unstuck in the unique circumstances of the pandemic.


Original article as posted on 24 January 2012:

Prepare Now For Surging Food Costs And Empty Grocery Store Shelves…

On a daily basis around 24,000 people die from starvation globally. That is a very horrible fact… But it's about to get worse. Some experts predict that this planet’s population will have about 890 million of its total population by 2020.

Halifax, Canada - Empty shelves with no toilet paper
Halifax, Canada – Empty shelves with no toilet paper: CC BY-SA by Indrid__Cold

That is not all. Have you noticed all the natural disasters lately? All those floods, fires, and different types of devastation are having a powerful impact on the world's food production. Take out the time to go by way of the other topics that had been explored by this author who is willing to assist his readers to get the most out of their efforts – Sold Out After Crisis. Ensure that you go via this highly useful article as there is surely something new which you will be able to discover.

The world's population explosion joined with climate change has led some experts to predict that there could be a worsening of the worldwide food shortage over the next 10 years. At the present time, only about 1 in 7 people worldwide tend to be hungry. The forecast is for 1 in 5 just by 2020.

No matter what, the shortage will surely impact food prices worldwide. I am sure you have noticed price increases at the local market. Be ready for the increase for the years to come.

So what can you do that will help you to personally overcome that crisis? I think that the most significant thing that that you can do is – create a garden – to help feed your family!

You don't need a large space to do this… In fact, you don't even have to have a yard at all. There are people who try this on their apartment porch or balcony. That's since it can be done in a raised bed!

All that is required is just a space that faces the sun and a wooden box that's about 6 inches in depth. We can build two 4'x4'x6″ boxes and fill them with topsoil, compost, and vermiculite. We then can use some twine to make a grid of 1′ squares within the box. You put the grid there to help guide you when adjusting your seedlings.

After that, all that is necessary is simply to water every once in a while, harvest, and eat. It is no requirement for fertilizer or pesticide and also the vegetables taste better than those bought within your local supermarket!

If you happen to have a yard to do this in and decide to do it there, then staple some weed stop landscape fabric to the bottom first. That way you don't need boards placed on the bottom of the box and by this, you are keeping the weeds from coming up out of the ground.

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