More Food Shortages Are Coming This Fall

You might have to get a little creative with your Thanksgiving menu.


As we near the holidays, there's a looming threat hanging over our heads. And that, my friends, is the fear of food shortages. There's an actual reason for concern this year, too, with less available turkey, cranberry sauce, and more.

So what's the deal exactly? Why are we facing such an unfortunate fate? According to Food & Wine, it's largely driven by a labor shortage, affecting the supply chain. 

"It was difficult sourcing product during the pandemic last year, but it is equally as difficult now," CEO of grocery chain Stew Leonard's Stew Leonnard Jr. told Today. "But we're seeing a shortage with fresh product, like turkeys for Thanksgiving, fresh fish, and center-cut steaks like rib-eye and porterhouse." According to Leonard, there is also a lack of New Zealand lamb because there aren't enough dock workers to unload ships. 

"It's even more challenging now to find people who want to work on farms than it was before. We're perennially short-handed," Executive Director of the Center for Dairy Excellence Jayne Sebright told the Associated Press this summer. 

As a result, process plants can't crank out as much chicken, turkey, and other meats, which means grocery stores won't have as much stock. With aluminum also facing a crisis, customers can expect fewer canned goods. With a lack of materials to store the food, including vegetables, soup, even drinks like soda and teas, producers will have to rethink their packaging or work with what they've got, which isn't a lot. 

Hey, at least we're not still emptying the store shelves of toilet paper. Let's take a win where we can. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.