Many folks are attributing this to the weather problems that hit farmers this year. Well I find that a bit hard to believe at this point in time. Will it happen? Probably!!! Crops are not even ready for harvesting this year (had it been a normal year) - so this is not the reason.
ME - I think it is pure greed! They can get by with causing people to panic and can jack up prices. If there was a real shortage then why would it be over by the first part of August? Why is it mainly WM and their brand?
I have a relative that has worked at WM for over 30 years and is now in upper management. Here are their words and theories. It is more than one thing.
WM has cut back on in store help and there are not enough stockers in any given store to keep up with stocking. They have also cut back on help in the warehouses.
WM is concentrating their products to provide for on-line sales first!! That is the future for them and requires lesser employees. Walk-in customers and cashiers will become a thing of the past one of these days. Cashiers are already being phased out at many stores.
They are creating an atmosphere that people WILL PANIC buy - thus increasing sales. If the store is out of one product that is usually cheap - people will panic and buy the more expensive one! That is called profits!
Truckers have been avoiding shipping to the WM warehouses. They are protesting the business practices and ways WM treats their drivers. WM has its own trucks from warehouse to stores but they depend on regular truckers getting supplies to the warehouse.
Most WM brands are packaged by the same factories and manufacturers of name brands - therefore there really is no shortage. JUST AN EXCUSE that people are believing.
I for one am not going to fall for their tactics.
YES, I do believe that come early next year there may be some shortages in products that are frozen and canned.
YES, prices will probably go up.
YES, there will be some increase in price and lesser volume of FRESH items in the real near future.
There are many, many products made from corn and soy and both of those have been hit hard this year. Meat may go up in price as well, as many dairy and cattle farms were devastated.
DO NOT PANIC! That accomplishes nothing.
Go on as usual and stock your cupboards with the same diligence and concern as always. Continue to buy those markdown items and stock up on them. Continue to watch the deals. Continue to garden and produce and can/freeze whatever you can. Continue to support your local farmers as much as possible. Continue to get deals at ethnic markets.
Continue on doing what is right for your family.
I keep seeing these stories and most often they are about WM. Once in a while someone will mention a different store. I know I have gone into Kroger before and found many, many empty shelves - why???? I asked. Nothing gets shipped right after a holiday - if a holiday falls right in line with a weekend - well the trucks haven't showed and the shelves will be bare for a few days. Makes sense.
I also find it odd that none of this has affected Aldi. Not one story about them! (not all of their products come from Germany)
So folks, just keep doing what you are doing.
We will all get through this together. We all have ideas on stretching our dollars and our food and we share those ideas. We will be fine.
Don't be like some and spread worry and dread.
It is always smart to be prepared for anything - that is just being a good steward.
Just don't panic!